Patiala, March 18
Tamil Nadu’s S Dhanalakshmi, who had put up a stunning show in the 100m final to put Dutee Chand in the shade, today beat young star Hima Das in the 200m semifinal heats with a new meet record of 23.26 seconds in the Federation Cup National athletics championships here today. With this stunning timing, the little-known Tamil Nadu girl got into the top-10 timings by an Indian in the women’s 200m.
Archana Suseendran, also of Tamil Nadu, won her semifinals heats in 24.07 seconds to raise expectations of an competitive final.
Assam’s Hima (23.10s) and Archana (23.18s) in the past have recorded times better than Dhanalakshmi’s today. Dhanalakshmi’s time, though, improved upon the meet record of 23.30s, set by PT Usha in Chennai in 1998.
Returning to competition after a long break, Swapna Barman won the heptathlon event with a total of 5636 points.
In the men’s 800m, Krishan Kumar of Haryana beat back a stiff challenge over the last 100m by Ankesh Chaudhary of Himachal Pradesh. Chaudhary even led for a brief while on the home straight but he could not hold on to it. — PTI