Abhishek Paul Wins Maiden 5000m Race, Parul Chaudhary Also Shines Bright for Railways

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Railways’ runners Abhishek Paul and Parul Chaudhary won the men and women’s 5000m titles respectively on the opening day of the 60th National Open Athletics Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

With the Federation Cup 5000m winner Amit Jangir not starting on Wednesday, the race was always going to be a contest between Railways’ 24-year-old Abhishek and Services’ runners.

But Abhishek used smart tactic to win his maiden 5000m title in a national competition with a timing of 14:16.35 seconds.

Abhishek was content to run most of the race in third place, shifting gears with 300 metres to finish line. His powerful strides brooked no response from the erstwhile leader Dharmender, who finished second clocking 14:17.20s.

Kartik Kumar, who won the 5000m in the Inter-State Championships in June, tried to use the Railways runner’s pace but realised that Ajay Kumar had enough energy left to claim the bronze medal with a timing of 14:20.98s.

In the women’s 5000m race, Parul (15:59.69s) played the waiting game, settling behind leader Komal Chandrakant Jagdale for a large part of the race, striding ahead with just over 250m left in the 12-and-a-half-lap event.

The 22-year-old Maharashtra runner, who did not find the speed to keep Parul at bay or to challenge her on the home stretch, took silver with a personal best time of 16:01.43s.

Another Maharashtra runner, Sanjivani Babar Jadhav (16:19.18s), making only her third start in a national-level long distance race, was in the mix till the halfway stage but found it tough to keep pace with the two leaders and claimed the bronze medal well ahead of Chinta Yadav, the second Railways runner.

In the women’s pole vault, Tamil Nadu’s Pavithra Venkatesh won the gold, clearing the bar at 3.90m while Railways’ Mariya Jaison (3.80m) and Krishna Rachan (3.60m) took silver and bronze respectively.

Results: (finals):

Men:

5000m: Abhishek Pal (Railways) 14:16.35s, Dharmender (Services) 14:17.20s, Ajay Kumar (Services) 14:20.98s

Women:

5000m: Parul Chaudhary (Railways) 15:59.69s, Komal Chandrakant Jagdale (Maharashtra) 16:01.43s, Sanjivani Babar Jadhav (Maharashtra) 16:19.18s.

Pole Vault: Pavithra Venkatesh (Tamil Nadu) 3.90m, Mariya Jaison (Railways) 3.80m, Krishna Rachan (Railways) 3.60m.

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