Athletics: Lim-Prasad wins her first gold of the season in women's 400m in Hong Kong meet

HONG KONG - National sprinter Dipna Lim Prasad struck gold in the women's 400m race at the Hong Kong Athletic Championships on Sunday.

Her time of 57.11sec was enough to edge out Hong Kong's Chua Yan Ching, who came in second with a time of 59.48, as well as fellow Team Singapore athlete Joy Kuan, who took third spot (1min).

The win was Lim-Prasad's first of the 2016 athletics season.

The 24-year-old's time, however, is still two seconds off national record-holder Chee Swee Lee's 55.08 set at the 1974 Asian Games, and also far from the Olympic qualifying mark of 52.20.

It was, however, a valiant effort, considering it was only her second race after she suffered an ankle injury in December. She spent the subsequent three months in recovery and rehabilitation.

Lim-Prasad had previously won the 400m silver medal with a time of 56.33 at last month's Singapore Open at the National Stadium.

In a post on her official Facebook page on Sunday, she said: "Not the best time for me, but I'm happy to have learnt so much from racing in these conditions. Looking forward to more races and to keep pushing my limits."

In other Team Singapore results, Kerstin Ong and Nur Izlyn posted personal bests in the women's 100m hurdles final. Clocking in 14.88sec and 14.89 respectively, Ong came in third and Izlyn was fourth.

Muhammad Nasiruddin's result of 1.99m was enough for third place in the men's high jump while Tan Wei Jie (1.95m) was just behind in fourth.

clntan@sph.com.sg