Murali becomes 2nd fastest Indian in 10,000m, puts himself as medal contender at Asiad

Young long distance runner Gavit Murali Kumar bagged a gold in men's 10,000m race at the Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden, Netherlands to become the second fastest Indian in this event as the country's track and field athletes continued their build-up for the upcoming Asian Games.

The 21-year-old Kumar, a bright talent from Gujarat, clocked a personal best of 28 minute 43.34 seconds, the best by an Indian in the ongoing season. Current long-distance coach Surendra Singh, who holds the national record of 28:02.89, has run faster than Kumar on four occasions.

Kumar's earlier best was 29:33.85 during the Federation Cup in Patiala in March.

The men's 10,000m bronze medal winner in the 2014 Asian Games had clocked 28:45.65.

The Gouden Spike is one of the top meetings in The Netherlands. Its current European Athletics status is Outdoor Meetings with National Permit.

Meanwhile, Indian athletes continued their preparations by taking part in various competitions during their training-cum-exposure tour of Europe.

In Poland, Hima Das clocked a personal best of 23.22 in the 200m. She had run 23.37 in this event during the Federation Cup in March. The national record in this event stands at 22.82 in the name of Saraswati Saha. Hima Das had finished sixth in 400m in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Muhammed Anas also marked his personal best of 20.74 in the 200m on his way to winning the race. He had set a new national record of 45.31 seconds in 400m at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, becoming only the third Indian man to make the CWG final round.

In the women's 400m, MR Poovamma came first with a time of 52.94, followed by Nithyashree at second, who clocked a personal best of 53.27. Vismaya V came in third with a personal best of 53.30 seconds. Arokia Rajiv won the men's 400m with a season-best timing of 46.20 seconds.

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