Asian Athletics Championships: Mixed results for Odia athletes

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Bhubaneswar: After four days of power packed action the final curtain came down on the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships here on Sunday with a grand ceremony. The mega event featured many memories to savour especially for the state which witnessed experience of an international level sporting extravaganza like never before even as it was a bag of mixed results for handful of Odia athletes who took part in the edition.

Sprinters Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Amiya Mallick, Jauna Murmu, Purnima Hmebram all performed in front of their cheering home supporters.

National record holder Dutee secured a bronze in women’s 100 m event with a lap timing  of 11. 52 sec and thereafter also won another bronze along with her teammates in the women’s 100m relay event. Failing to bring down the timing under 11.20 sec or a gold Dutee could not secure a berth to the world championships in London next month.

Her compatriot from the state, Srabani, won a third bronze alongside Dutee in the 4×100 m sprint while pulled out of 100 m event due to injury scare.

On the other hand, it was a disappointing campaign for Amiya Mallick, one of fastest sprinters in the country, who failed in both of his prime events. He had to face disqualification in men’s 100m event finals due to a false start and later he also was disqualified along with his teammates after one member of their quartet was found to have crossed the tracks while changing the baton in 4x100m relay event.

All the three athletes though had provided plenty of enthralling moments with their performances throughout the edition. They managed to reach final rounds in almost all their participating events. In the concluding day all three of them also had a chance to win silverware for their country in 200 m sprint events but Dutee failed to land a bronze by a whisker and finished fourth in women category while Srabani finished just below her teammate. Amiya Mallick too disappointed everyone by finishing just seventh in men’s 200m sprint event.

Purnima Hembram, another local star athlete also made headlines after an impressive display in hepthalon event clinching a bronze while Jauna Murmu after superb display in preliminary heats in her 400m hurdles event failed to win any medal for the country.

The State Government meanwhile has announced cash prizes worth Rs 3 lakh to all the five Odia athletes for their hard work and brilliance that they showed during the sporting extravaganza.

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