Manjit bags gold, silver for Jinson in 800m.
Jakarta: A jobless and unheralded Manjit Singh scorched the track and upstaged pre-race favourite Jinson Johnson to win gold as India achieved a rare one-two in men’s 800m at the Asian Games here on Tuesday.
Never considered a medal contender, Manjit surprised one and all by pipping more fancied Johnson to clinch the gold with a timing of 1:46.15s, which was .20s faster than the Asian Championship medallist from Kerala, who bagged the silver.
India’s last gold in men’s 800m was won by Charles Borromeo in 1982 Asian Games.
It was India’s only second one-two finish in 800m at the Games since Ranjit Singh and Kulwant Singh achieved the feat at the inaugural edition held in New Delhi in 1951.
Coached by India Army’s Amreesh Kumar, Manjit bettered his personal best mark of 1:46.24s set in Guwahati this year at the Nationals to claim his maiden major international medal.
While others did not give him a chance, Manjit said he was determined to do prove his worth.
“I saw videos of my races at national and international competitions and analysed the mistakes. I was motivated to improve myself,” Manjit, who lives in Jind, said.
A lot of middle-eastern countries have imported physically strong African athletes to power their athletics squad but Manjit said he was confident to outshine them.
Silver in 400m mixed relay
India clinched a silver in the debut event of 4x400m mixed relay race, finishing behind Bahrain.
The Indian quartet of Mohd Anas, M. R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3 minute and 15.71 seconds, while Bahrain ran away with the gold in 3:11.89.
The Athletics Federation of India lodged a protest against Bahrain for causing obstruction to Hima Das during the 4x400 mixed relay in which M. R. Poovamma frittered away a good 30m lead.
The protest has been admitted by the jury of appeals which will give a ruling on Wednesday.
Dutee makes 200m final
Earlier, Dutee Chand set herself up on course for a second Asian Games medal after qualifying for the women’s 200m final but Hima suffered a heartbreak as she was disqualified for a false start.
Dutee, who won a silver in the 100m, stormed into the final by winning the semifinal in 23:00 seconds, which was faster than her qualification round.
Dutee was in third position in the beginning but she made it up in the last 50m stretch to edge out Edidiong Odiong (23.01) and Lingwei Kong (23.32).