New Delhi: K Prem Kumar, who set a national record in long jump two day's back, was today named the best athlete of the 79th Railway Athletics Championships even as Western Zone continued their grip over the event by winning both the men's and women's team titles here on Wednesday.
Prem Kumar, representing ICF, had leaped 8.09m to win gold on the first day of the three-day championships on Monday, eclipsing the nine-year-old long jump record of 8.08m in the name of Amrit Pal Singh.
On the final day today, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Krishna Poonia and Asian Games gold medallist Joseph Abraham came first in women's discus throw and men's 400m Hurdles, respectively with modest efforts.
Poonia, who has a personal best and national record of 64.76m, won gold with 49.26m. Abraham, also a national record holder with 49.51secs, ran the 400m Hurdles today in 51.39secs. Poonia was representing Northwestern Railways, while Abraham took part as Southern Railways athlete.
Meanwhile, Athletics Federation of India (AFI) technical committee chairman Tony Daniel told PTI that Prem Kumar's national record will be ratified.
There were doubts over whether Prem Kumar's national record will be ratified or not as his dope test was not done immediately after his event ended. His samples were taken late last evening.
"His urine sample has been collected by a NADA team yesterday. The AFI Technical Committee will sit and decide but I don't see any issue in his record being ratified," Daniel said.
Asked if there was any time limit under rules within which the sample should be taken so that the result would be considered valid, he said, "In such cases, there is no such time limit.
"Here, the rule is he should be available within an hour of the summon being issued to give his sample and he did that," Daniel said.
An elated Prem Kumar said he has got the certificate from the organisers, which says that he has created a new national record.
An AFI official also said that Prem Kumar's national record will be ratified in due course.
"Prem Kumar's national record will be validated. There will not be any issue. It may take time but it will be done. It's the job of the AFI Technical Committee and they will ratify it," the official said.
Prem Kumar was handed the Marshal Tito Cup for being the best male athlete, while women's 100m dash gold medallist Merlin K Joseph was given RSPB Gold Cup after being adjudged as the best female athlete.