National Junior Athletics Championships: Kerala’s Anumol Thampi eclipses meet mark in 3000 m. Coimbatore: The penultimate day’s competitions in 32nd National Junior Athletics Championships witnessed only three meet records being bettered unlike Saturday when nine records fell like nine pins. Incidentally a team from National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) arrived here on Saturday and started collecting samplesfrom athletes. Kerala’s Anumol Thampi, a bronze medalist in last year’s Asian Youth championships at Doha (Qatar), eclipsed the meet mark clocking 10:02.58 in youth girls 3000m in the morning. Assam girl Savita Pal was close second in 10:02.65.
Shot putter Meghana Devanga, former Asian Schools champion, taking part under Karnataka banner tossing the iron ball to a season leading 13.93m that improved Manpreet Kaur’s nine year old meet mark by 10 cm. Interestingly the second placed Sonal Goyal, a fourth placer in last year’s Asian youth meet, who led the Indian junior lists for the year with 13.85m could muster only 13.24m this evening and hence settled with the silver.
Tamil Nadu hurdler Manickam Loganayaki was the other athlete who recorded a meet mark on Sunday in the all-girls dominated proceedings in Nehru Stadium. In a thrilling 400m hurdles final for U20 girls the TN girl pips Punjab’s Veerpal Kaur at the post by mere 1/100th of a second (60.45 to 60.46 secs) to wrest the gold in that event. At the senior level Loganayaki finished fifth in the Inter-State meet a Hyderabad this June while Veerpal had the same rank in the Open Nationals at Lucknow three months later. For both the athletes today’s performance turned out to be their bests.
In another interesting dual Libia Shaji replicated her performance from last month’s Kerala state championship in Kochi (1.71m) to pull a surprise win over pre-event favourite Laimwn Narzary of Assam in junior women high jump. Laimwn, the current World School Games champion, could manage to clear only 1.69m as also the third placed Jueely Badhai from Maharashtra. The Assam girl leads the Indian junior lists for the season with a 1.72m clearance at the SAF junior trials in Patiala.
In the decathlon events for boys that completed late last evening, Tamil Nadu’s N Vivekanandan thrilled the spectators with a gold medal tabulating 6338 points. The surprise part was his determining effort to complete the event after suffering a severe injury when involving a deadly quarrel with a Delhi decathlete midway during the pole vault. He took part in javelin throw and 1500m with a temporary plaster on his neck and went to take proper sutures in a private hospital only after completing his victory in the grueling event.
In youth boys category Delhi boy Amit Singh garnered 6617 points to set a national record.
Defending champions Kerala (330 points) wrests the lead from arch-rivals Haryana by 6 points. Hosts Tamil Nadu remain in third position with 308 points.