GUWAHATI, June 26 - Jauna Murmu of Odisha became the first athlete to clinch the gold medal at the 58th National Inter State Senior Athletics Championship which began at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Sarusajai here today.
With a timing of 57.02, Murmu secured the gold medal in the women�s 400m hurdles. Anu R of Kerala with a timing of 57.68 grabbed the second spot while Saritaben Gayakwad of Gujarat clocking 58.01 ensured the bronze medal.
In the men�s 400m hurdles Dharun Ayyasamy of Tamil Nadu (49.68) won gold medal while Santhosh Kumar T also of tamil Nadu (50.10) and Jashanjot Singh of Punjab (50.64) bagged silver and bronze medals respectively.
On the other hand, Hima Das of Assam entered the final of the women�s 200m. In the heats her timing was 24.02 seconds which was the fourth best. Dutee Chand of Odisha topped with a timing of 23.46 seconds. Ranga K of Manipur (23.78) and Reena George of Karnataka (24.00) were ahead of Hima in the heats that took place in the morning session today.
Meanwhile, five athletes, including top sprinter Dutee Chand of Odisha, breached the qualifying marks in their respective events.
Surprisingly, dope samples of the top finishers were not immediately taken after their races.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the championship in the presence of legendary Indian sportsperson PT Usha and officials of the national and State units of the Athletics Federation of India.
In the inaugural speech, Chief Minister Sonowal urged the athletes to work hard with dedication in their respective field of sports. He said that in today�s interconnected world, excellence in sports gives a distinct identity to a nation and therefore the Indian sportspersons must toil hard and exhibit their best in the playground.
Chairman of the organising committee Lakhya Konwar delivered the welcome speech, president of Athletics Federation of India Adille J Sumariwalla and president of Assam Athletics Association Rockybul Hussain also spoke on the occasion.
Minister of State for Power and PWD Topon Kumar Gogoi, MLA Rituparna Baruah, vice-chairman of Sports Authority of Assam Queen Oja and general secretaries of Athletics Federation of India and Assam Athletics Association were also present on the occasion.
Around 800 athletes from 29 States are taking part in the meet.