Punjab's Harmilan Kaur Bains stole the thunder from the sprinters by breaking Sunita Rani's long-standing national record in the 1500 metres on the second day of the 60th National Open Athletics Championships in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Hanamkonda here on Thursday.
The 23-year-old start-to-finish specialist cruised home in 4:05.39 to erase the mark set by Sunita Rani at 4:06.03 in the Asian Games in Busan in 2002. She also shattered OP Jais'a's meet record of 4:11.83 set in Delhi in 2006. Del'i's KM Chanda gamely shadowed Harmilan until the Punjab runner sped away at the bell to win by a sizable margin.
Harmilan, undefeated in eight national-level 1500m races since January 2020, has shown rapid progress, improving from 4:14.68 in the Khelo India University Games in Bhubaneswar last year to 4:08.70 and 4:08.27 in the Federation Cup (March 16) and Indian Grand Prix 4 (June 21) respectively in Patiala. On Thursday, she capped it with a National mark, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) said in a release on Thursday.
It needed such a strong effort to push a couple of good sprint events to the shade. Naresh Kumar (Andhra Pradesh) and Delhi's Tarandeep Kaur took the honours as the fastest male and female athlete of the meet by winning the 100m dash
Naresh Kumar's 10.30 seconds win came with the second-fastest time by an Indian in 100m this year behind Gurindervir Singh's 10.27 seconds in Patiala on June 26. It also gave the 23-year-old from Guntur a place among the five fastest sprinters in Indian history. Quite inevitably, it gave him the meet record, improving on Anil Kumar's 10.37 seconds set in 2001.
The race produced personal bests for Assam's Amlan Borgohain and Harjit Singh (Services) with times of 10.34 seconds for both, a photo finish separating them by six-thousandths of a second to secure the silver medal for the former. To their credit, the trio was able to script great runs despite a couple of false starts by Services' KS Pranav and Satnam Singh.
Delhi teenager Taranjeet Kaur, who was knocked down by a car and broke a collar bone just over two years ago, claimed the title of the fastest woman of the meet with a blazing run in a personal best time of 11.50 seconds to leave the seasoned Archana Suseendran (Tamil Nadu) in her wake. Taranjeet Kaur knocked two-tenths of a second from her previous best of 11.70 clocked in winning the Federation Cup Junior (U20) title in Bhopal on January 25 this year.
The men's 1500m race saw an upset of sorts as little-known Parvej Khan (Haryana) stunned the two-time Asian Athletics Championships medalist Ajay Kumar Saroj (Railways) tasted his first defeat at the National level since August 20, 2019. Parvej Khan ensured that he kept pace with Ajay Kumar Saroj at the bell and took over with 300m left, opening up a good lead.
The results (finals):
100m: 1. K Naresh Kumar (Andhra Pradesh) 10.30 seconds (New Meet Record. Old: 10.37, Anil Kumar, Chennai, 2001); 2. Amlan Borgohain (Assam) 10.34; 3. Harjit Singh (Services) 10.34.
400m: 1. Muhammed Ajmal V (Services) 46,84 seconds; 2. Gajanand Bahadur Mistry (Gujarat) 46.85; 3. Ayush Dabas (Haryana) 47.10.
1500m: 1. Parvej Khan (Haryana) 3:42.64; 2. Ajay Kumar Saroj (Railways) 3:44.05; 3. Rahul (Delhi) 3:44.57.
4x100m relay: 1. Railways (R Swaminathan, VK Elakkiadasan, Sudhakar Chintha, B Siva Kumar) 40.04 seconds; 2. Tamil Nadu 40.44; 3. Services 40.88.
Long Jump: 1. R Swaminathan (Railways) 7.73m; 2. Jeswin Aldrin (Tamil Nadu) 7.67; 3. Nirmal Sabu (Railways) 7.67.
Javelin Throw: 1. Sahil Silwal (Haryana) 77.79m; 2. DP Manu (Services) 74.92; 3. Rohit Yadav (Railways) 74.28.
Decathlon: 1. Yaman Deep Sharma (Rajasthan) 6757 points (100m: 11.46; LJ: 6.88m; SP: 9.70m; HJ: 1.98m; 400m: 50.26; 110mH: 16.09; DT: 34.63; PV: 4.20m; JT: 48.34m; 1500m: 4:46.61); 2. Usaid Khan (Services) 6702; 3. KR Gokul (Services) 6618.
20km Race Walk: 1. Chandan Singh (Uttarakhand) 1:29:21.00; 2. Devender Singh (Services) 1:29:26.00; 3. Juned (Railways) 1:29:38.00.
100m: 1. Taranjeet Kaur (Delhi) 11.50 seconds; 2. Archana Suseendran (Tamil Nadu) 11.68; 3. Simi NS (Railways) 11.78.
400m: 1. R Vithya Ramraj (Tamil Nadu) 53.79 seconds; 2. Nancy (Haryana) 54.41; 3. Kiran Pahal (Railways) 54.80.
1500m: 1. Harmilan Kaur Bains (Punjab) 4:05.39 (New National and Meet Records. Old NR: 4:06.03, Sunita Rani, Busan, 2002; Old MR: 4:11.83, OP Jaisha, New Delhi, 2006); 2. KM Chanda (Delhi) 4:18.24; 3. Deeksha (Madhya Pradesh) 4:21.34.
4x100m relay: 1. Railways (AT Daneshwari, C Kanimozhi, NS Simi, Himashree Roy) 45.84 seconds; 2. Tamil Nadu 47.06; 3. Telangana 47.18.
High Jump: 1. Swapna Barman (Railways) 1.78m; 2, Gracena G Merly (Tamil Nadu) 1.76; 3. Rekha (Haryana) 1.76m/
Shot Put: 1. Kiran Baliyan (Uttar Pradesh) 16.99m; 2. Manpreet Kaur (Punjab) 16.40; 3. Manpreet Kaur (Railways) 16.35.
20km Race Walk: 1. Sonal Sukhwal (Rajasthan) 1:42:15.00; 2. Ravina (Railways) 1:44.17.00; 3. Payal (Uttarakhand) 1:48:12.00.