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PU Chitra gives 3rd gold for India in Asian Athletics Championships
Chitra unnikrishnan Palakeezh walks with her national flag after winning the gold medal for the womens 1500-meters race final the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar on April 24, 2019. AFP

PU Chitra gives 3rd gold for India in Asian Athletics Championships

24 Apr 2019 | 10:46 PM

DOHA:P U Chitra defended her 1500m title to give India its third gold medal while Ajay Kumar Saroj and Dutee Chand won a silver and a bronze in men's 1500m and women's 200m respectively on the fourth and final day of the Asian Athletics Championships here on Wednesday.

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Doha, April 24

P U Chitra defended her 1500m title to give India its third gold medal while Ajay Kumar Saroj and Dutee Chand won a silver and a bronze in men's 1500m and women's 200m respectively on the fourth and final day of the Asian Athletics Championships here on Wednesday.

Chitra overtook Bahraini runner Tigest Gashaw just a few metres before the finishing line to win the race in 4 minute 14.56 seconds at the Khalifa Stadium. 

This was India's third gold of the championships after Gomathi Marimuthu (women's 800m) and Tejinder Pal Singh Toor (men's shot put) won a yellow metal each on the second day on Monday.

Gashaw clocked 4:14.81 for the silver while another Bahraini Mutile Winfred Yavi took the bronze in 4:16.18.

"Got a little nervous towards the end being next to Bahraini runner (Gashaw Tigest). She beat me to third place in Asian Games. I had to really push hard in the end," said the 23-year-old Chitra who had won a bronze in the Jakarta Asian Games.

Chitra had won gold in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar in 4:17.92. 

Her male counterpart, Saroj clocked a season best time of 3 minute 43.18 seconds to clinch a silver behind Bahrain's Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich who clocked 3:42.85.      

Dutee, who had finished a disappointing fifth in the 100m final on Tuesday after smashing national record twice, clocked 23.24 seconds to win the bronze in the women's 200m.

After falling behind in the first 100m, she covered a lot of ground in the final 100m stretch and got past three competitors at the finish line.

Salwa Naser of Bahrain expectedly took the gold in 22.74 while Olga Safronova of Kazakhstan was second in 22.87.

The 23-year-old Dutee, who had won a 200m silver in the Jakarta Asian Games, still missed the World Championships qualifying mark of 23.02. She has a personal best of 23.00.

"I am really very happy. I missed a medal in 100m & relay. I put too much effort in 100m, was not sure of medal in 200m. Just did my best & I am happy," Dutee said.

In the women's discus throw, Navjeet Kaur (57.47m) and Kamalpreet Kaur (55.59m) came up with disappointing shows to finish fourth and fifth respectively. - PTI

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