Thursday, Oct 30, 2003
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By K. P. Mohan
Anju George with the long jump gold.
With suspense having heightened over the past three days about Fredericks's participation, the focus was bound to be on the Namibian, who arrived only this morning, as the runners settled down in their blocks in the 200 metres. He did not disappoint, putting a huge gap between him and the rest by the time he reached the 120-metre mark.
It was cruise mode after that for the man who won Namibia's first ever medal, a silver at the Barcelona Olympics and then went onto add three more silvers to that collection apart from a World championship gold in 1993.
Kazakh Gennadiy Chernovol came in at 20.81 for the silver and Senegal's Omar Loum 20.99 for the bronze.
"I expected the Kazakh to do better,'' Fredericks said later. "They had obviously not prepared hard enough.'' Fredericks anchored a `Nigerian team' named Africa I to the sprint relay gold to bring the curtain down on the day's proceedings.
Good show by Indians
The afternoon's focus partly remained on the Indians, though there were a few easy medals to be had for the host. The three gold medals were brought in by long jumper Anju George, discus thrower Anil Kumar and heptathlete J. J. Shobha, all with decent performances, though not their best. There were three silvers, through Saraswati Saha (200m), Jasmine Kaur (20,000m walk)
and steeplechaser Arun D'Souza.
The bronze collection came through the men's sprint relay team of Thirugnanadurai, Sandeep Sarkaria, Piyush Kumar and Sanjay Ghosh, the first medal in the event for the country since the 1979 Asian championships, and heptathlete Soma Biswas and javelin thrower Jagdish Bishnoi.
The sprinters were overjoyed, though Ghosh went tumbling at the finish and was lucky to escape serious injury. The time of 39.64 fell short of the National mark of 39.36s.
Anju managed a best of 6.53m on her last jump after opening with a 6.48. It was enough to get her the gold since the opposition just could not rise above average levels. Chinese Liang Shuyan, who could have given the World bronze medallist a run for her money, pulled out at the last moment, while Anastasiya Zhuravlyeva, who won the Asian title at Manila (6.53m) competed as a `guest' as Asia had filled in its quota of four. It was a different matter that the Chinese dropped out of the competition.
Filipino Lerma Elmira Gabito took the silver on a countback with Nigerian Esther Aghatise after they tied at 6.30m. Both had a second best of 6.29, while Gabito had a third best of 6.22 to the Nigerian's 6.15.
Anju said that she had problems on the runway and she could not get her rhythm going, coming back as she was into high-level competition for the first time after the World championships and the World finals in Monaco.
Anil Kumar hurled the disc to 60.68 metres to win a low-key competition in which the top Chinese, Wu Tao and Nuermaimaiti Tulake, and South African Frantz Kruger were absent.
Shobha, after leading right through the heptathlon competition and just missing her personal best of 5888 points by a mere four points, felt that she could have done better but for below par efforts in long jump and shot put.
It looked like an Indian sweep at one stage, but Soma Biswas (5532) took the bronze behind South African Justine Robbeson (5587) while Pramila Aiyappa (5487) ended up fourth.
Kenyans to the fore
Kenyans running close to nine minutes in steeplechase would not have been heard in the past, but this day they did. Winner John Kemboi clocked 8:56.43, while bronze medallist Joel Chelimo had 9:24.08. It was not so difficult then for Arun D' Souza to keep tracking the Kenyans and eventually winning the silver at 9:05.97.
Anil Kumar of India displays the gold medal he won in discus throw.
Saraswati's 200m silver came in a more respectable 23.43, while Jasmine's walk silver in a field of seven including three Indians, came in 51:36.60.
The results: Men: 200m: 1. Frankie Fredericks (Nam) 20.57s, 2. Gennadiy Chernovol (Kaz) 20.81, 3. Omar Loum (Sen) 20.99.
1,500m: 1. Abdelkader Abdallam (Sud) 3:40.17, 2. Peter Ashak Abaih (Sud) 3:40.21, 3. Benjamin Chedinyot (Ken) 3:40.65.
3,000m steeplechase: 1. John Kemboi (Ken) 8:56.43, 2. Arun D Souza (Ind) 9:05.97, 3. Joel Chelimo (Ken) 9:24.08.
Long jump: 1. Mohammed Ali Adamou (Alg) 7.93m, 2. Ndiss Kaba Badji (Sen) 7.86, 3. Godfrey Mokoena (RSA) 7.76.
Discus: 1. Anil Kumar (Ind) 60.68m, 2. Chima Ugmu (Ngr) 59.87, 3. Omar El Ghazaly (Egy) 59.77.
Javelin: 1. Hardus Pienaar (RSA) 84.50m, 2. Li Rongxiang (Chn) 79.01, 3. Jagdish Bishnoi (Ind) 75.34.
4x100m relay: 1. Africa I 39.07s, 2. Senegal 39.58, 3. India 39.64.
Women: 200m: 1. Delphine Atangana (Cmr) 23.37s, 2. Saraswati Saha (Ind) 23.43, 3. Geraldine Pillay (RSA) 23.48.
10,000m: 1. Eigayehu Dibaba (Eth) 33:01.12, 2.Eyersalem Kuma (Eth) 33:20.19, 3. Sujeewa Nilmani Jayasena (Sri) 35:53.45.
100m hurdles: 1. Angela Atede (Ngr) 13.18s, 2. Feng Yun (Chn) 13.20, 3. Damaris Agbugba (Ngr) 13.21.
Pole vault: 1. Zhang Na (Chn) 4.10m, 2. Annelie van Wyk (RSA) 4.00, 3. Qin Xia (Chn) 3.90.
Long jump: 1. Anju George (Ind) 6.53m, 2. Lerma Elmira Gabito (Phi) 6.30, 3. Esther Agatise (Ngr) 6.30.
Heptathlon: 1. J. J. Shobha (Ind) 5884 pts, 2. Justine Robbeson (RSA) 5587, 3. Soma Biswas (Ind) 5532.
4x100m relay: 1. South Africa 43.75s, 2. Ivory Coast 43.86, 3. Thailand 43.90.
10,000m walk: 1. Bahia Boussad (Alg) 51:23.70, 2. Jasmine Kaur (Ind) 51:36.60, 3. Estle Viljoen (RSA) 52:01.30.
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