Tintu, Dutee triumph; Railways dominate national meet

Kolkata, Sep 19 (IANS) Tintu Luka created a new meet record and Dutee Chand clinched two gold medals to help Railways dominate the 55th National Open Athletics Championships as the curtains came down on the event here on Saturday.

Railways emerged with 267 points, far ahead of second placed ONGC who managed to bag 185 points while Services came third with 174.5.

There was no match for Tintu in the women’s 800 metre as she easily beat her rivals to clinch a new meet record with a timing of 2:00.56.

She bettered Rosa Kutty’s previous mark of 2:01.06 set in 1997. Tamil Nadu’s Gomathi clinched the silver in 2:06.29. Sipra Sarkar of West Bengal was third with 2:06.42.

“It was my best performance in India, It feels good,” Tintu said after her event.

The legendary P.T. Usha who trains Tintu said,”There were no competitors to challenge her in the last 200 metres.”

Tintu had earlier set a meet record in the women’s 800m in the 2015 National Games in Kerala earlier this year, clocking 2:01.86 seconds to win gold but she bettered that effort on Saturday with ease.

Tintu had already qualified for Rio with her timing of 2:00.95s at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, recently.

But that didn’t help her qualify for the 800m main event at Beijing as she finished a disappointing seventh in the heats to crash out.

In the women’s 200m, Dutee was by far the best, as she brushed aside her opponents to complete the race in 23.69. Her teammate Srabani Nanda finished second with a time of 23.75. Asha Roy clinched the third position with 24.71.

Dutee was banned last year by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as her body produced testosterone at levels which were deemed higher than the limit for women sportspersons.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July cleared the sprinter by suspending the ‘hyperandrogenism’ rules, which may also be scrapped if the IAAF fails to provide evidence.

Dutee also claimed the glittering yellow medal in the Womens 4×100 metre relay with teammates Himashree Roy, Srabani Nanda and Merlin K Joseph representing the railways.

In mens 4×400 relay, the Services team of V. Sajin, Sumit Kumar, M. Anas and Arokya Rajeev shattered the old meet record to clinch the gold in 3:06.63. The previous record of 3:7.27 was created by the Services team in 2013.

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