Paulose, Hamza win 1,500m golds for India at Macau


Macau : Sinimol Paulose and Chatholi Hamza produced a golden double for India, winning the women’s and men’s metric mile at the second Asian Indoor Games at the Macau Asian Games dome Wednesday.

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The twin success took India’s medals tally to five gold and two silver in the games.

Paulose clocked four minutes 22.56 seconds and finished comfortably ahead of the second-placed Svetlana Lukasheva of Kazakhstan who finished in 4:24.92. The bronze medal went to China’s Li Zhenhu in 4:25.96.

The Indian girl was in control of the race right through and at no stage was her lead under any threat.

The 26-year-old Hamza, a bronze medallist at the Military World Games in Hyderabad two weeks ago, brought home a stunning result. He beat the more fancied Kuwaiti and Qatari runners.

Hamza hung in with the front-runners and broke off at the right moment and won in 3:50.22, a new meet record. Omar Al Rasheedi of Kuwait was a close second in 3:50.58 and Ali Kamal Abubakr of Qatar was third in 3:50.78 in a close race.

The Indian chess team had won three gold medals in the Rapid format and then added a silver in Classical, while Sandeep Sejwal won a silver in men’s 100m breaststroke swimming competition.

Paulose, a Bharatanatyam dancer turned athlete, was born in Kerala but represents Jharkhand where she trained as part of the Tata Distance Training Academy.

The 24-year-old, who runs both the 800m and 1,500m, completed a double of Asian Indoor athletics championships and Asian Indoor Games triumphs, as she had won the top spot in Asian Indoors in Bangkok last year.

Paulose gave up classical dancing in 2000 to concentrate on athletics and joined the Tata Academy. She started getting her rewards only last year, when she won her first Asian title at the Asian Indoors in Bangkok, where she got the gold medal.

Hamza, who also doubles in the 800m and 1,500m has been training under coach Nikolai and achieved his best this year. On the outdoor track in Hyderabad he clocked 3:42.84 for Military World Games bronze.

India’s Bibin Mathew was knocked out of the 400m when he finished fourth in his heat in 48.83 seconds. The race was won by Wang Lian Gyu of China in 47.86s.

Vinay CHoudhary, another Indian entry, was also fourth in the second heat in 48.98s and was eliminated. Saudi Arabia’s Hamdan Al Bishi clocked 47.98s to win the heat.