Three more gold medals for India on the final day of Asian test event

File Photo:AFI
AFI|14-Feb-2018 19:21

AFI Media
14 February 2018
Jakarta (Indonesia). Jinson Johnson’s gold medal in the men’s 800 m was the highlight of the day as India ended its athletics campaign at the Asian Games invitational tournament in Jakarta. Johnson’s gold was one of three won by Indian athletes on the final day’s competition at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium. India won gold in the men’s and women’s 4x400m events. India also won a silver medal through Sarita Singh in the women’s hammer throw and a bronze through Kamalraj Kanaraj in the men’s triple jump event.  The results of the final day meant that India finished with 13 gold medals, five silver and four bronze medals.
Johnson, a former silver and bronze medalist at the Asian Championships was by far the superior runner in the competition. He clocked 1:47:96 to finish far ahead of the field. Silver medalist Raed Aljadni of Saudi Arabia was over six seconds behind with a time of 1:54:17 seconds. Johnson who competed at the Rio Olympics with his then personal best time in 2016, did not find the same success in 2017. However he would be bolstered to improve on that considering the form he has shown in what is only his first tournament of the year.
Quartermilers Jithu Baby and Kunhu Mohammad hadn’t had a great tournament medal wise. Competing in the 400m event on Sunday, Jithu had recorded a personal best time but still finished only with a silver while Mohammad had finished outside the medal bracket altogether. They would make amends on Wednesday by combining along with Sumit Kumar and Jeevan Suresh to claim a gold medal in the men’s 4x400 m relay events.  The four recorded a time of 3:07:06 seconds that saw them finish 0.63 seconds ahead of the Chinese Taipei quartet in silver.
In contrast, three of the women’s quartet had already won gold medals before Wednesday’s relay. Hima Das had won the women’s 200m, Sonia Baishya the women’s 400m while Saritaben Gayakwad had claimed the 400m hurdles crown. Nithya Shree Ananda had won silver behind Baishya in the women’s 400. Running unopposed in the 400m relay, they were guaranteed another gold. Being the first time the four combined in competition this season, they recorded a modest time of 3:37:76 seconds, a timing they will look to improve upon further into the year. 
National record holder Sarita Singh was never really in the contest against defending Asian Champion Luo Na of China who recorded a personal best of 72.11m. Singh meanwhile had to be content with silver with a best throw of 61.75m which was well short of her personal best of 65.25m. Also performing well below his potential was Kamalraj Kanagraj who recorded a best of 15.73m to finish with bronze in the men’s triple jump behind China’s Zhu Yaming and Malaysia’s Ismail Hakimi who cleared 16.79m and 16.24m respectively. The effort was disappointing from Kanagraj, who only last month had jumped 16.23m to claim silver at the Asian Indoor championships.