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Sudha qualifies for Olympics in steeplechase

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Press Trust of India

Last Updated: June 08, 2012, 15:54 IST

Sudha qualifies for Olympics in steeplechase

Sudha clocked an impressive 9:47.70 secs which earned her the Olympic B-grade.

Huelva (Spain): Asian Games gold medallist Sudha Singh has qualified for the upcoming London Olympics in the 3000m steeplechase event by breaking her own national record in the VIII meeting Iberoamericano de Atletismo championship here.

The 25-year-old Indian, who barely missed the Olympic qualification mark in Shanghai Diamond League last month, showed tremendous form to clock an impressive 9:47.70 secs which earned her the Olympic B-grade.

By clocking 9:47.70 secs here last night, Sudha broke her 9:49.25 secs national record set at the Shanghai Diamond League, a statement from the Athletics Federation of India said.

Like in Shanghai, Sudha once again finished 11th in the race here which was eventually won by Ethiopian Etenesh Diro with a timing of 9:21.54 secs.

Sudha's 9:47.70 secs timing set here was her seventh national record in five years. Her first record came in Jamshedpur nationals when she bettered controversial Tamil Nadu athlete Shanthi Soundararajan's previous mark by nearly 26 secs.

After improving the record twice, Sudha lost it briefly in 2010 to training partner OP Jaisha during the inter-state meet at Patiala, but recaptured in style during her fifth place finish at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Sudha also became the inaugural Asian Games champion in the steeplechase event at Guangzhou with a time of 9:55.67 secs.

After her stint with the Belarus coach Nikolai Snesarev, Sudha along with Jaisha and two other long distance runners -- Kavita Raut and Preeja Sreedharan -- received training under Claudio Berardelli since late 2011.

Meanwhile, reigning Asian champion in long jump Mayookha Johny has won an international competition in Rhede, Germany, last evening by successfully jumping to 6.60m.

Having already qualified for the London Games in the triple jump event, Mayookha is desperately trying to attain the norm in long jump as well but was 5 cm short of the requirement.

Among other Indian athletes who have already qualified for the quadrennial sporting extravaganza, shot putter Om Prakash Singh Karhana surpassed the 20-mark when he registered 20.04m in his training-base at Szombathely, Hungary, on Wednesday.

Singh tossed the iron ball to an incredible distance of 20.69m there on May 12 and won an international meet in Vienna, Austria, with 19.82m on May 29.

Discus thrower Krishna Poonia, after finishing fourth in the Prefontine Classic in Eugene on June 1 with a throw of 62.11m, improved her performance at Portland where she won a silver medal at the Post Pre Elite Women's event hurling the discuss to 62.34m.

The Commonwealth champion registered her personal best of 64.76m at the Hawaiian island of Wailuku last month.

first published:June 08, 2012, 15:54 IST
last updated:June 08, 2012, 15:54 IST