Dutee Chand completed a sprint double in the season-ending 59th National Open Athletics Championships, clocking the fastest time in 200m by an Indian this year with a 23.17 second burst at Ranchi on Sunday.
Having set a national record in the 100m on Friday, Chand added the half-lapper gold to her collection, showing her challenger Archana Suseendran (23.41) a clean pair of heels.
The Odisha athlete not only topped Suseendran’s time of 23.18 seconds clocked in the AFI Grand Prix in Patiala on August 16 but also came up with her own second fastest time behind the 23.00 timed in the Asian Games last year.
Chand was also adjudged the best female athlete while shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who broke his own national record on Saturday, was named best athlete in the men’s category.
There was intense competition at the triple jump pit, even in Asian Games gold medallist Arprinder Singh’s absence. Abdulla Aboobacker challenged his Services team-mate Karthik Unnikrishnan till the very last jump in an event that saw the top six competitors cross the 16m mark.
Karthik Unnikrishnan, who took the lead with a 16.61m in the third round, leapt 16.78m on his final try to win the gold. Chinta Yadav emerged a surprise winner of the women’s 3000m steeplechase, outsprinting her Railways team-mate Parul Chaudhary in a time of 10 minutes 11.70 seconds.
Railways’ PU Chitra was another athlete who completed the double, adding the women’s 800m crown to the 1500m title she won earlier this week. With Lili Das dropping out, Chitra did not have to worry much in winning the two-lap race in 2 minutes 04.59 seconds.
Railways bagged the overall championship title leaving behind Services on second spot while Haryana finished third.