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Nirmala surfaces, wins gold 

Guwahati: Haryana’s quarter-miler Nirmala Sheoran returned to action after a year of “battling personal problems” and qualified for the Asian Games with an impressive timing of 52.36 seconds in the women’s 400m heats of the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships here today. Since last year’s World Championships, Nirmala has not run a competitive race and her whereabouts and training place were not known to the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).She, however, did not show any sign of rustiness as she claimed the first position clocking 52.36 at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium. The Asian Games qualifying time for this event was set at 52.47 by AFI. “I am feeling good about my timing but I am still not 100 per cent, I just recovered from typhoid,” Nirmala, who has a personal best of 51.28, said after the race. Asked about the long span of time when no one knew where she was, Nirmala said was battling personal problems during that phase.  “I did not do any suspicious thing. Because of some personal and family problems, I went into depression after the World Championships. I wanted to compete at the Commonwealth Games but then I suffered from typhoid,” she said.

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