New Delhi: Ajay Kumar Saroj ran a magnificent race to win the men’s 1500m title on Thursday, and Jyothi Yarraji won her first top finish in a major international competition to give India a total of three gold medals on the second day of the Asian Athletics Championships. Abdulla Aboobacker, a silver medalist in the Commonwealth Games, won the men’s triple jump competition to give India its third gold of the day.
India’s performance at Asian Athletics meet
The Indians put up a strong performance, winning three of the ten gold medals that were available on Thursday. The other Indian to win a gold that day was Aishwarya Mishra, who finished third in the women’s 400-meter final in 53.07 seconds.
On a wet track at the Supachalasai Stadium, the 23-year-old Yarraji won the 100-meter hurdles final race in 13.09 seconds, taking the gold medal away from two Japanese competitors, Terada Asuka (13.13s) and Aoki Masumi (13.26s). The national record for Yarraji is 12.82 seconds. She had won the gold medal at the National Inter-State Championships last month in 12.92 seconds, but the track was sloppy after rain pelted the stadium.
Soraj bags Gold
The 26-year-old Saroj produced a masterfully planned race in the men’s 1500m, emerging from nowhere in the final bend to defeat two rivals and take home the gold. His time of 3:41.51 seconds was 2.5 seconds slower than his previous best, which he had set in a competition in the United States last month.
For Saroj, who had trained in the USA in May, it was her second gold medal in a row at the Asian Athletics Championships. Ajay Kumar Saroj won silver in 2019 in Doha and gold in the 2017 competition in Bhubaneswar. Aboobacker won the gold medal with his best performance of the season of 16.92 meters, beating out Jangwoo Kim (16.59 meters) of Korea and Ikehata Hikaru (16.73 meters) of Japan.
Despite starting out with a foul, the 27-year-old cleared 16.92 meters on his fourth attempt to win the gold. Abhishek Pal began India’s medal account on Wednesday by winning bronze in the men’s 10,000-meter race.