Mangaluru, May 1, 2015: In the opening event of the four-day Federation Cup, Mangalorean Sahana Kumari pocketed her seventh gold medal from Federation Cup with a modest effort of 1.76m. But she failed to qualify for the Asian Athletics Championship in China
Today’s effort put 34-year-old Sahana as the third in the all-time list of maximum gold winners behind discus thrower Neelam Jaswant Singh (nine times) and long jumper Anju Bobby George (eight times) in the 19-year-old history of Federation Cup.
Top woman long jumper Mayookha Johny won gold in her event and crossed the qualifying standard set by the national federation for next month’s Asian Athletics Championships in China. Mayookha got back the gold after he missed out the podium in Patiala last year with a jump of 6.34m at Mangala Stadium.
Starting with a 6.14m effort, the ONGC jumper led the competition until the last round when Maharashtra’s Shraddha Ghule cleared 6.21m. However, Mayookha responded well with a leap of 6.34m to bag the gold. Shraddha and Kerala girl V Neena (6.14m) bagged the silver and bronze respectively.
Two other athletes -- G Lakshmanan (men’s 5000m) and Suman Devi (women’s javelin) -- also went past the Asian Championships qualifying standard set by Athletics Federation of India.
Defending women’s javelin champion and Incheon Asian Games bronze medalist Annu Rani made a late report that caused her medal hopes go up in smoke. As she came in late, Rani got only one chance on third round that turned out to be a foul.
Suman Devi, a silver medalist in 2014 edition, clinched the gold with a throw of 54.07m that ensured her a place for the June 3-7 Asian Championships in Wuhan.
In the opening event of the four-day Federation Cup, Tamil Nadu’s Suriya Loganathan capitalised on the absence of O P Jaisha to win the gold in women’s 5000m race with a modest time of 16:55.90.
Chitra finished second in 16:56.29 and Preeti Lamba won the bronze in 16:56.51. Suriya represented the country in the last two Asian championships at Kobe (2011) and Pune (2013).
The men’s 5000m race witnessed keen competition between Army lads Lakshmanan and T Gopi. At the end, it was Lakshmanan, a bronze winner last year, to win the gold with an impressive 13:58.40.