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Manjit wins India's first gold in 800m since 1982 Asiad

The 28-year-old Manjit ran his personal best time of 1 minute and 46.15 seconds to win his maiden major international medal.

PTI|
Updated: Aug 28, 2018, 11.28 PM IST
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Little-known Manjit Singh stole the limelight by leading a rare one-two for India in the men’s 800m before the country was awarded a silver in the 400m mixed relay which made its debut at the Asian Games on Tuesday.

Manjit was not a much-talked about medal prospect in the build up to the Asian Games but he brought home the third gold for India after shot putter Tejinderpal Singh Toor and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s heroics.

The jobless Manjit pipped pre-race favourite and national record holder Jinson Johson to take the gold in 1:46.15. Jinson, who beat Manjit while shattering legendary Sriram Singh’s 42-yearold national record in the National Inter-State Championships in June, clocked 1:46.35.

It was India’s only second one-two at the Asian Games as Ranjit Singh and Kulwant Singh had won a gold and a silver at the inaugural edition in New Delhi in 1951.

Manjit Singh

Manjit’s gold was also the first after Charles Bor romeo’s feat in the 1982 Asian Games.

Coached by Indian Army’s Amreesh Kumar, the jobless Manjit bettered his personal best mark of 1:46.24 set in Guwahati during the National Inter-State Championships.

“I was very hopeful. I had prepared accordingly. I never thought of bettering the national mark. I just wanted to give my best. I had strategised to follow runners initially and then push towards the last 100-150m. I did it and won gold for my country,” an elated Manjit said.

MIXED SILVER
In the debut event of 400m mixed relay, M R Poovamma frittered away a good 30m lead, handed to her by Mohd. Anas, as India finished second behind Bahrain. The Indian quartet of Anas, Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3 minute and 15.71 seconds to finish behind Bahrain (3:11.89).

The Athletics Federation of India later lodged a protest against Bahrain for causing obstruction to Hima during the relay race. The protest has been admitted by the jury of appeals which will give a ruling tomorrow.

Anas began in spectacular fashion as he opened up a huge 30m lead over his Bahraini rival and handed over the baton to Povamma. However, the Karnataka athlete squandered the lead. By the time she passed on the baton to Hima, Bahrain had created a huge lead. As Hima got the baton, she had to change her lane and sidestep Bahrain’s Oluwakemi Adekoya who fell before her, obstructing her way, after passing on the baton to Salwa Naser.

Manjit Singh


Hima couldn’t cover the distance, leaving Anas with an unenviable job of covering at least 50m lead.

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