Written By : Vishank Razdan
The day 1 of the 31 st edition of the G Kosanov memorial meet taking place in Almaty, Kazakhstan (annual meet held in the honor of the late Kazakh sprinter Gusman Kosanov) saw a handful of Indian athletes in action across various disciplines. Indian medal tally at the end of day 1 stood at 7 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze medals.
Although the likes of Muhammed ‘Anees’ Yahiya in men’s long jump, Kiran Pahal in women’s 400 meter and R Vithya Ramraj in women’s 400 meter hurdles event produced some praiseworthy performances, performances of the women’s 4*100 relay team and shot putter Manpreet Kaur was below par.
An inspired Kiran Pahal on international debut, SB for Muhammed ‘Anas’ Yahiya
The 31 st edition of the G Kosanov memorial meet would always remain etched in the memory of Kiran Pahal as she clocked a super impressive timing of 52.54 seconds to win a gold medal in the women’s 400m event in her international debut. There were definite nerves as she stormed through the first 300 meters very swiftly, but labored in the home stretch as she was almost run down by Japanese Nanako who clocked 52.56 seconds to win silver.
Summy, who just turned 19, also clocked an impressive 53.70 seconds (SB) to win bronze. In the men’s 400m event, Muhammed ‘Anas’ Yahiya clocked a SB time of 46.27 seconds but his time was not good enough to topple local lad Mixail Litvin who clocked a time of 46.04 seconds to win a gold medal.
In the women’s 400 meter hurdles event, R Vithya Ramraj of India clocked a brilliant personal best time of 56.87 seconds to win a gold medal. It is for the very first time that Ramraj has dipped below 57 seconds in her career and to achieve such a time in an international meet speaks volume of the temperament she has developed. Looking at her improved performances, one can expect an upward trend in her career graph from here.
Another set of praiseworthy performances were delivered by T Santosh Kumar and Ayyasamy Dharun in the men’s 400 meter hurdles event. T Santosh Kumar delivered his career’s 2nd best performance as he dipped below 50 seconds for the first time after the 2018 Asian Games clocking 49.97 seconds and won a silver medal. Dharun on the other hand managed a timing of 50.10 seconds to win bronze. Mehdi Pirjahan of Iran bagged gold medal in this event with a performance of 49.76 seconds.
Dutee Chand bagged a couple of silver medals for India. One in the individual women’s 100 meter where she clocked a timing of 11.49 seconds in the final (wind: +0.6m/s). However, in the heats of the 100m event she had clocked a timing of 11.38 seconds (wind: +2.2m/s).
Her second silver medal of the day came in the women’s 4*100 meter relay where a poor baton exchange on the home stretch led the Indian team down from gold to silver medal. The gold medal was eventually won by the Kazakh team.
Photo from Chennai
Apart from this, KM Chanda of India won a gold medal in the women’s 1500m event but her timing was nowhere close to what she had achieved in Chennai. One can suspect if she is nursing an injury, while others would assume that she is saving her best for her favorite event, the women’s 800 meter, which is slated to take place on Sunday, June the 26th.
Impressive performances from Abha Khatua and Muhammed ‘Anees’ Yahiya
Apart from the 3 gold medals in the track events, Indian athletes managed to win 4 more gold medals in the field event. Arguably, the best performance of the day from an Indian athlete was delivered by Muhammed ‘Anees’ Yahiya who won a gold medal in the men’s long jump event with a best performance of 8.04 meters.
Anees has been the most consistent Indian long jumper this season as he has registered a mark of 8+ meters on 5 separate occasions. Although he did not achieve the automatic qualifying mark of 8.22 meters, his consistent performances have definitely given him the chance to qualify for the mega event via the ranking route which will be released by the World governing body next week.
As for now, his average stands at 1195.4 points (after adding his Almaty performance) in the Road to Oregon and will have an anxious wait of 24 hours before the qualification timeline ends.
Another impressive performance was given Abha Khatua in the women’s shot put as she registered a performance of 16.71 meters to claim gold medal. On the other hand, Manpreet Kaur who recently broke the Indian NR in the women’s Shot Put event with a throw of 18.06 meters, slumped to a mere 14.24 meters in her only valid attempt to claim a bronze medal.
Apart from this, Indian discus thrower Kripal Singh won a gold medal in the men’s discus throw with a mark of 59.22 meters, while, Navjeet Kaur Dhillon won gold medal in the women’s discus throw with a best performance of 56.24 meters.
Photo from Chennai InterStates
Elite Indian athletes in action on Day 2
After a rather impressive performance of Indian athletes on day 1 of the 31 st G Kosanov memorial meet, quite a few top tier athletes will be in action on the 2 nd day of the annual event.
Annu Rani, who has almost secured a place in the Indian team for the world championships, would be looking to help her confidence by delivering an impressive performance in the women’s javelin event.
On the other hand, Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who has already qualified for the mega event going to take place in Eugene, will be looking to deliver his season’s best performance in the men’s shot put event as he is yet to find his sweet spot post his injury problems.
In the men’s triple jump, Eldhose Paul would be looking to secure a spot in the Indian team for the World championships by delivering an impressive performance while the likes of Ancy Sojan in the women’s long jump and Rohit Yadav in the men’s javelin event would be looking to impress one and all with their performances in the bronze level Continental tour meet.