Asian Games gold medallist Preeja Sreedharan lived up to her reputation by winning the women's 10,000m race as the 51st National Open Athletics got off to a dull start on a rain-soaked morning in Kolkata on Saturday.
Three finals were held in the morning session ahead of the opening ceremony but a wet and worn-out track at Yuba Bharati Krirangan that drew a lot of criticism meant none of the athletes could get near their best timings.
Preeja was nowhere near her Guangzhou Asian Games gold medal effort of 31:50.47 as the Kerala athlete clocked a poor 35:56.09 to earn Railways the top honours. Her track rival Kavita Raut (35:56.13) finished a fraction of seconds behind to earn ONGC a silver medal.
In the men's 10,000m final held at 6am in the morning, ONGC's Suresh Kumar clinched the gold with a timing of 30:18.16.
In the absence of national record holder Vikas Gowda, Vipender Singh bagged the discus throw gold medal with an effort of 50.52m as Services had top two finish with Dharamraj (50.31) bagging the silver.
Men's 10,000m: 1. Suresh Kumar (ONGC; 30:18.16); 2. Kheta Ram (SSCB; 30:24.36); 3. Soji Mathew (Rlys; 30:43.39).
Men's Discus: 1. Vipender Singh (SSCB; 50.52m); 2. Dharamraj (SSCB; 50.31m); 3. Sunil Kumar (Rlys; 49.27m).
Women's 10,000m: 1. Preeja Sreedharan (Rlys; 35:56.09); 2. Kavita Raut (ONGC; 35:56.13); 3. L Surya (Rlys; 36:09.00).