Sunday, October 2, 2022

Darshan, Varsha win maiden SAAF, NCCC titles

Darshan Singh and Varsha Devi won the men’s and women’s 10km crowns of both the SAAF Cross Country Championships and National Cross Country Championships which were held simultaneously at the picturesque but tough course in Kohima on Saturday.
Both Darshan and Varsha tasted maiden international success with timings of 31:08.00 and 37:14.00 respectively at the SAAF event. The race was made more challenging due to 60 percent humidity and gusts of wind at the Nagaland capital.
Sri Lankan RNS Pushpakumara (33:12.00) and Nepal’s Pal Mukesh Bahadur (34:08.00) took the men’s 10km silver and bronze respectively at the SAAF Cross Country Championships.
Nepal’s Pachchai Rajpura (38:48.00) and Sri Lanka’s MSP Madhumali Perera (39:38.00) finished second and third respectively in the women’s 10km event. In the National Cross Country Championships 10km event, the 25-year-old Darshan of Services was initially bunched in the front with his team-mates Rajendra Nath, Deepak Singh Rawat, Dipak Suhaug, defending champion Parasappa Madevappa Hajilol and Railways Narendra Pratap Singh. He never lost rhythm or position.
Soon after, Rajendra Nath and Darshan pulled away from the rest. After the 5km mark, Darshan stepped up the pace to gain a handy lead. He was hardly challenged over the last two laps and won by a 24-second margin.
Having finished fourth and sixth in the last two years, the victory must have tasted sweet for Darshan.
In the women’s 10km race, Rebi Pal (Uttar Pradesh) opened briskly but the six Railways runners dominated the race.
The 27-year-old Varsha (of Railways), silver medallist in 2020, pulled away from her team-mates on the final of the five loops of 2km to win by a small margin.
Gujarat’s Reena Bachau Patel prevented a Railways sweep of six places by beating last year’s winner Sonika.
Uttarakhand’s Akash Patel and Jharkhand’s Ashakiran Barla won the men’s and women’s U-20 events while Ritik Sharma, who hails from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, and Aakancha Kerketta won the boys’ and girls’ U-18 crowns.
One of Aakancha’s training partners, Walter Kandulna, completed a hat-trick of medals in the National Cross Country Championships with a silver medal in the boys’ U-18 6km race to add to the U-16 gold in 2020 and silver last year.
The Results:
SAAF Championships:
Men 10km: 1. Darshan Singh (India) 31:08.00; 2. RNS Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka) 33:12.00; 3. Pal Mukesh Bahadur (Nepal) 34:08.00.
Team: 1. India (Darshan Singh, Dipak Suhaug, Rajendra Nath); 2. Sri Lanka; 3. Nepal.
Women 10km: 1. Varsha Devi (India) 37:14.00; 2. Pachchai Rajpura (Nepal) 38:48.00; 3. MSP Madhumali Perera (Sri Lanka) 39:38.00.
Team: 1. India (Varsha Devi, Manju Yadav, Preenu Yadav); 2. Sri Lanka; 3. Nepal.
Men U-20 (8km): 1. Akash Patel (India) 25:58.00; 2. KMJD MAdushan (Sri Lanka) 29:24.00; 3. Karki Badal (Nepal) 29:20.00;
Team: 1. India (Akash Patel, Prashant Choudhary, Pankaj Kumar); 2. Sri Lanka; 3. Bangladesh.
Women U-20 (6km): 1. Asha Kiran Barla (India) 22:47.00; 2. Budha Ram Maya (Nepal) 23:36.00; 3. Rinky Biswas (Bangladesh) 24:03.00.
Team: 1. India (Ashakiran Barla, Drashtiben Pravinbhai Chaudhri, Maya Kumari); 2. Sri Lanka; 3. Nepal.
National Championships:
Men (10km): 1. Darshan Singh (Services) 31:08.00; 2. Dipak Suhaug (Services) 31:32.00; 3. Rajendra Nath (Services) 31:36.00.
Team: 1. Services (Darshan Singh, Dipak Suhaug, Rajendra Nath and Deepak Singh Rawat); 2. Railways; 3. Uttarakhand.
Women (10km): 1. Varsha Devi (Railways) 37:14.00; 2. Manju Yadav (Railways) 37:26.00; 3. Preenu Yadav (Railways) 37:38.00.
Team: 1. Railways (Varsha Devi, Manju Yadav, Preenu Yadav, Munni Devi); 2. Himachal Pradesh; 3. Nagaland.
Men U20 (8km): 1. Akash Patel (Uttarakhand) 25:58.00; 2. Prashant Choudhary (Delhi) 26:00.00; 3. Pankaj Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) 26:02.00.
Team: 1. Uttar Pradesh (Akash Patel, Pankaj Kumar, Love Chaudhary, Vinit Rathi); 2. Delhi; 3. Maharashtra.
Women U-20 (6km): 1. Ashakiran Barla (Jharkhand) 22:47.00; 2. Drashtiben Pravinbhai Chauhan (Gujarat) 22:53.00; 3. Maya Kumari (Jharkhand) 23:03.00.
Team: 1. Maharashtra (Vishakha Sanjay Salunkhe, Shivani Kulkarni, Pallavi Chandrakant Jagdale, Bhagyashree Bhaskar Bhandari); 2. Haryana; 3. Rajasthan.
Boys U-18 (6km): 1. Ritik Sharma (Jammu and Kashmir) 19:50.00; 2. Walter Kandulna (Tamil Nadu) 19:54.00; 3. Sujit Tikode (Maharashtra) 19:54.00.
Girls U-18 (4km): 1. Aakancha Kerketta (Tamil Nadu) 14:38.00; 2. Sonam (Delhi) 14:49.00; 3. Ruhi Bohra (Delhi) 14:52.00.
Boys U-16 (2km): 1. Aman Kumar (Haryana) 6:00.00; 2. Priyanshu (Uttarakhand) 6:03.00; 3. Harish Mullu (Andhra Pradesh) 6:06.00.
Girls U-16 (2km): 1. Basanti Kumari (Tamil Nadu) 7:06.00; 2. Pranathi (Karnataka) 7:13.00; 3. Heena (Haryana) 7:14.00.