Indian distance runners Abhishek Pal and Parul Chaudhary won their respective 5000m races at the National Open Athletics Championships 2021 that got underway at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Warangal, Telangana on Wednesday.
Competing for Railways, Abhishek Pal took the gold medal in the men’s event with a timing of 14:16.35 while Dharmender of the Services was second in 14:17.20. Another athlete from the Services, Ajay Kumar, took the bronze medal. He clocked 14:20.98.
In the women’s race, Parul Chaudhary of Railways clocked 15:59.69 for her sixth win of the season. The 2019 Asian Athletics Championships bronze medallist was in control of the race right from the start and slowly built on the momentum to seal the win.
Maharashtra’s Komal Jagadale was second in 16:01.43 while her state-mate Sanjivani Jadhav took the bronze medal with a timing of 16:19.18.
With a number of senior pros and Olympians skipping the National Open, the focus was on the youngsters who performed well at the recently concluded World Athletics U20 Championships 2021 in Kenya.
However, Summy, who won a bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay at Nairobi, was in for some tough competition in the women’s 400m heats in Warangal.
Competing in the second heats, the Haryana runner finished fifth in 56.31 seconds and missed out on a place in the final.
Results from day 1 of the 60th National Open Athletics Championships 2021
5000m: Abhishek Pal (Rlys) 14:16.35; Dharmender (Ser) 14:17.20; Ajay Kumar (Ser) 14:20.98, 3
5000m: Parul Chaudhary (Rlys) 15:59.69, 1; Komal Jagadale (MAH) 16:01.43, 2; Sanjivani Jadhav (MAH) 16:19.18, 3
Pole vault: Pavithra Venkatesh (TN) 3.90m, 1; Mariya Jaison (Rlys) 3.80m, 2; Krishna Rachan (Rlys) 3.70m