Delhi – 21 May 2013
We record with deep sadness the passing away of former international sprinter Anand Shetty.
Shetty (52), was hails from Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka state, started his career as a Kabaddi player before turning in to a notable sprinter.
He met with an accident when the car he was travelling with his wife and daughter had hit by a bus near Kotekar two days ago. He was admitted to a private hospital in Mangalore and succumbed to injuries on Tuesday morning.
After showing his mettle in the junior category, Anand went on to win a ‘sprint double’ at the senior level in the Open Nationals at Delhi in 1982 and repeated his act again next year at Jamshedpur by winning the gold medals in 100 and 200m runs. In total he had nine senior national titles in sprint events during his career.
At the international level, Shetty made his major appearance in the Asian Games held at Delhi in 1982 along with Adille Sumariwalla.
Anand Shetty was working in Telco (now Tata Motors) before joining the Infosys.
Adille, the President in Athletics Federation of India and former colleague of Shetty in Telco, expressed his shock on hearing his friend’s untimely demise.
The Athletics Federation of India would like to convey its profound grief and condolences to Anand Shetty’s family.
/ AFI /
Kerala defends overall title after a thrilling win in medley relay
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh – 20 May 2013
Athletes from Kerala begin their day with a medal sweep in 5,000m race walking for girls with K.T. Neena taking the gold in a new meet mark of 25 mins 13.95 secs as also qualified for the forthcoming World Youth Championships at Ukraine, this July. Her teammates A.M. Binsy and S. Akshaya complete the other two places on the podium.
Haryana, which led the table overnight, continue to apply pressure with more number of wins in the last day’s events at Brahmananda Reddy Stadium here on Monday. However the defending champions Kerala fought back with vigour and the tale of identifying this edition’s champions went till the last event of the meet—the medley relay!
Another medal sweep by their steeplechasers, an excellent run by half-miler Mohammed Afsal, noteworthy wins by triple jumper Abdulla Aboobacker and intermediate hurdler Anjali Jose helped the southern state wrest the lead from Haryana with one point. In the medley relay for girls the Kerala team was trailing at mid-way and that increased the heart-beats of their teammates. However the last leg runner Shaharbana Sidhique made a gallant effort to take her team to the flag position. Expectantly Haryana took the gold in the boys’ relay but it did not change the position, hence Kerala ascertained its “numero uno” status with just 1 point (155 to 154) at the end.
Apart from Kerala walker Neena, most of the other World Youth qualifiers came from Haryana. On the final day of competitions 400m hurdler Parmvir Singh (54.43 secs), javelin thrower Mandeep Kumar (67.02m), sprinters Mohit (22.52 secs) and Ashish Chikara (22.66s) attained such distinction among others.
Haryana boys’ garnered 123 points for the team championships while Kerala girls made their state proud once again with the top spot by securing 120 points.
Shot putter Shakti Solanki (Delhi) and sprint-star Dutee Chand (Odisha) have been adjudged as best athletes of the three-day meet in boys and girls divisions respectively and received 10 gms Gold Medals for their effort. New meet record-holders Mariya Jaison and Neena also received pure gold medals sponsored by a local jeweller.
While Shakti made it to the Top-10 in the World youth lists for the current season, Chand repeats the “sprint double” from last year.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Mariya Jaison scaled a new height in pole vault
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh – 19 May 2013
The pole vault event for girls, cancelled during the last two editions of Youth Nationals for lack of entries, made a re-appearance and aptly witnessed the first meet record of the ongoing championships here.
Kerala vaulters, who dominated the scene ever-since the event was introduced in 2008, once again ruled it with Mariya Jaison taking the gold with a new height of 3.20m which eclipsed the previous mark of 2.82m held by state-mate Sinju Prakash. However Mariya could not succeed in her attempt to break Sinju’s national mark—3.30m—on Sunday.
The second day of the meet also witnessed U.P. hammer thrower Prakash Singh attained the qualifying standard for the World Youth Championships by sent out the ball and chain to 63.52m. The qualifying mark in this event stands at 63m.
However due to heat and humidity many top class athletes failed in their attempt to gain a berth on the National Team for the global youth meet to be held in Donetsk, Ukraine, in July. Also there are cases in which some athletes who had already achieved the required norm during last year’s Junior Nationals at Lucknow could not repeat their performance on the clay track in Brahmananda Reddy Stadium at Guntur.
For example the winner of the first event of the day—Shailesh Kumar from Madhya Pradesh—was almost 2 minutes slower than his Lucknow performance in boys’ 10,000m walk. Shailesh clocked 46:13.92 in Lucknow whereas he managed only 48:35.07 in Guntur.
Similarly in boys’ 110m hurdles there were at least four athletes dipped under 14.00 secs while taking part in the under-16 division at Lucknow. Most of those athletes who made it to this evening’s final here however delivered slower timings than expected. The winner Maymon Poulose of Kerala clocked 14.71 secs for the gold whereas the qualifying standard for this event is fixed as 14.40 secs. Tamil Nadu hurdler Logeshwaran, who clocked 13.59s at Lucknow had trembled at the start here and hence finished seventh with a paltry 16.74s.
In the 400m run for boys, Haryana lad Ajay clocked 50.70 secs to win the gold in which the QM is 49.95 secs. Another TN athlete Dharun who clocked 49.56 secs at Lucknow could log only 51.44 secs for his fifth place finish today.
Ankita Gosavi of Maharashtra had won the 100m hurdles for girls with a timing of 14.80 secs but just missed the QM by 0.25 secs.
Overnight leaders Haryana continue their pole position with 104 points with Kerala managed to move in to second spot with 69 points.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Shakti Solanki ruled again with a big toss
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh – 18 May 2013
Shot putter Shakti Solanki extends his winning-streak one more time as he won his first-ever title in the youth (under-18) division on the first day of 10th National Youth Athletics Championships commenced at Brahmananda Reddy Stadium here on Saturday.
The family tradition helped Shakti maintaining supremacy at throwing arena as his elder brother Ashwini Solanki is also a noted shot putter at the national level. Although the 17-year-old Delhi boy keeps winning national titles since 2010, he made it a big one at Guntur with his stupendous toss of 19.09m on the final round this evening with the 5 kg iron ball, which places his sixth on the World Youth lists for the current season.
The athletes competing in the Youth Nationals here are having the main ambition to attain qualification for the World Youth Championships to be held in Donetsk, Ukraine, in July and Asian Youth Games at Nanjing, China, thereafter.
The qualifying mark for the boys’ shot put stands at 17.70m and Shakti Solanki stands a good chance to make the podium in both the competitions mentioned above.
Another athlete who attracts much attention here was the meet and national record-holder in sprint events for girls, Dutee Chand from Odisha. Having already achieved the qualifying standards with her performances of 11.93 secs in 100m and 24.28 secs in 200m during the National junior championships at Lucknow in last October, it was only a confirmatory wins for her in Guntur. She proved it in style with a 11.85s in 100m dash, aided by a tail wind of 3.4 metres per second. Her margin of victory – 0.53 secs – was huge once again!
Haryana lad Mohit was fastest among the boys as he overcame the scorching heat to win in 11.08 secs. However two Tamil Nadu boys, who had better timings than Mohit to their credit, B.Karthikeyan (11.07s) and M.S. Arun (11.09s) have become victims for the high humidity and hostile weather conditions, hence could not reach the evening’s finals.
Maharashtra shot putter Meghna Devanga clinched the gold for girls heaving the 3 kg iron ball to 13.50m—the exact distance set as a qualifying standard for Donetsk—while Punjab’s Manpreet Kaur was 27 cm behind in spite of more number of 13m plus throws.
It was indeed a good opening for the Maharashtrians as the first gold of the meet went to Sanjivani Jadhav in 3,000m early this morning. Started her career as a wrestler, Sanjivani had taken part in both wrestling and athletics at School Nationals. Maharashtra produced many notable distance runners in the past which includes Lukose Leelamma and Kavita Raut as well as the famous sisters Monika and Rohini in recent times.
The North Eastern State of Assam also returning to winning ways with two gold medals in boys’ distance running through Ajay Kumar Saroji (1500m) and Abhishek Pal (3000m).
Athletes from Tamil Nadu were 1-2 in girls’ long jump while Haryana’s Preet Rani pushed TN girl Mahalakshmi to second place in the discus throw.
At the end of first day, Haryana leading the table with 38 points while Uttar Pradesh (36) and Kerala (23) closely followed them.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh – 13 May 2013
The 10th National Youth Athletics Championships will be organised from May 18 to 20 at Brahmananda Reddy Stadium in Guntur. This is the second time the hosts Andhra Pradesh Athletics Association conducts the Youth Nationals after 2006, when it was held at Warangal.
Although the APAA successfully organised many major events, including last year’s National Inter-State Championships at their state capital Hyderabad, the state association is constantly looking forward to spread its activities by taking them to various corners of the state and by that way inspire many youngsters to follow competitive athletics as their useful pastime.
Among the AFI activities, the first major athletics event held at Guntur was the National Inter-State Championships in 1989 and the latest one had been the rain-marred National Inter-Zonal championships in 2010.
Guntur also played host the All-Inter Inter-University championships two years ago.
Around 600 athletes from various states in across the country are taking part in the three day meet which will serve as the “Selection Trials” for Indian aspirants looking for a berth in the National Team to this year’s World Youth Championships to be held at Dontesk, Ukraine, from July 10 to 14 as well as the Asian Youth Games to be held at Nanjing, China, in August. Click here to see Tentative Schedule.
/ AFI /
Poovamma unbeaten while India collects five gold medals on the final leg
Colombo, Sri Lanka - 12 May 2013
Indian quarter-miler M.R. Poovamma remain unbeaten in the 400m run for women throughout the Asian Grand Prix series this year. The Mangalore-born woman, who had won two gold and a silver medal in last season, triumphed in all the editions of the three-leg series this time.
Poovamma signed-off in style by clocking 53.30 secs to win over Yuliya Rakhmanova of Kazakhstan (53.85s) in the third and final leg of the Asian Grand Prix held at Sugathadasa Stadium this evening. Her colleague Anu Mariam Jose was once again third in 54.63s.
In the men’s race TN sprinter Arokia Rajiv repeats his victory in 46.63 secs after held-off a stiff challenge from host nation’s Kasun Senaviratne (46.84s) and Kalinga Kumara (47.31s).
The pair of Indian distance runners, Nitin Rawat and Kheta Ram, proved their consistency by taking the first two spots in 5000m today. They were 1-2 in 5000m at Bangkok (4 May) and 3000m at Chonburi (8 May) earlier.
India improved its gold medal tally to Five, thanks to Siddhanth Thingalaya--who got the fourth gold in 110m hurdles in a photo-finish from Thailand’s Rittidet Jamras 13.81 to 13.82 secs and Arpinder Singh—who brought the fifth by upsetting favourites Roman Valiyev and Renjith Maheswary in triple jump.
Arpinder leapt 16.70m for the win while Kazakhstan’s Valiyev managed to push Indian Renjith to third place by a fraction (16.42 to 16.41m).
Sri Lankan high jumper Manjula Pushpakumara opened his season with a grand 2.24m and halted the unbeaten run of Indian Jithin Thomas, who was second at 2.21m. The second Indian on the fray, Nikhil Chittarasu, also sailed over 2.21m—his personal best—for the bronze.
Discus thrower Krishna Poonia collects her second bronze with a paltry throw of 55.41m while high jumper Sahana Kumari had another with 1.79m.
With that India ended its campaign in the third leg of Asian GP at Colombo with 12 medals, which includes 5 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals.
The best performance of the day came from Uzbek high jumper Nadiya Dusanova, who clinched the women’s title with an Asia leading 1.93m.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Rajiv helps India maintain its gold status in the second leg
Chonburi, Thailand – 8 May 2013
India’s Jithin Thomas was lucky to retain his gold medal position in the second leg of Asian Grand Prix series at IPE Chonburi Campus Stadium after having locked in to a battle with three other high jumpers who all scaled the identical height of 2.21m.
The 22-year-old Keralite is having a personal best of 2.22m registered during last year’s Open Nationals at Chennai. Unlike the first leg in Bangkok four days ago, where a mere 2.18m was enough for him to win the event, Jithin had a stiff challenge from others right from the beginning this afternoon. Jin Qi Chao of China, Hiromi Takahari of Japan and Anton Bodnar of Kazakhstan shared the same height of 2.21m with Jithin. But Thomas adjudged winner on a ‘count-back’. However Nikhil Chittarasu, the second entry from India in this event, who managed to win a silver medal in the first-leg could not improve his Bangkok height (2.18m) and thus finished sixth today.
Indian quarter-miler Arokia Rajiv had a convincing win in men’s 400m race. Just two weeks to celebrate his 22nd birthday, the one-lapper from Tamil Nadu improved his personal best to 46.54 secs for today’s victory. Karnataka’s Poovamma added another gold in women’s 400m although her time – 53.57 secs – was slower than her previous effort. The second Indian in the race, Anu Mariam Jose, finished third in 54.86s behind Yuliya Rakhmanova of Kazakhstan who clocked 54.30 for the silver.
India matched its four gold medals status from the first leg when distance runner Nitin Rawat annexed his second gold of the series with a win over 3000m in 8:18.25 and once again made it 1-2 with compatriot Kheta Ram taking the second spot in 8:18.74.
Krishna coated the silver-lining to discus
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Krishna Poonia delivered her season’s best 59.43m to win a silver in the women’s discus throw. The title went to Chinese Su Xinyue with a notable 61.67m while her teammate Jian Fengjing was just 2 cm behind Poonia for the bronze medal.
Two Indian athletes, hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya and triple jumper Renjith Maheswary, once again fell short of the expectations. Siddhanth slipped to third place in 110m hurdles (13.90s) where Kuwaiti Abdulaziz Almandeel continued his dominance with a 13.69s clocking for the victory.
Roman Valiyev extends his winning streak in triple jump with 16.69m leap which eventually just 1 cm better than Renjith’s 16.68m today while Arpinder Singh managed to fill the remaining place on the podium with his 16.53m mark.
At the end India had 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals in the second leg of the Asian GP here.
In other events the Chonburi leg witnessed brilliant relay races in both men and women sections. Hong Kong made a world championship qualification as their men clocked a mesmerising 39.17 secs to win over Singapore (39.45) and China (39.79). A guest team from Australia lead by Olympic hurdler Sally Pearson won the women’s race in 44.06 sec but narrowly missed the qualification norm by 0.06 secs.
The final leg of the Asian Grand Prix will be held at Colombo on 12th May.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Field day for Indian athletes in first leg
Bangkok, Thailand – 4 May 2013
Indian athletes won as much as 4 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals in the first leg of this year’s Asian Grand Prix athletics series held at Thammasat Stadium in the capital of Thailand on Saturday evening.
As expected one-lapper M.R. Poovamma annexed the gold in women’s 400m clocking a noteworthy 52.97 secs. The second Indian on the fray, Anu Mariam Jose, finished third in 53.95s behind Sri Lankan Subashini Rasanayake (53.35s).
In the men’s race Arokia Rajiv, a native of Lalgudi in Tamil Nadu, try to emulate Poovamma but Iran’s World Military Games champion Sajjad Hashemi proved too hard to beat at the end 46.70 to 46.91s. Hashemi holding the Iranian national record at 45.81s whereas Rajiv’s best to date was 46.57s—clocked twice in the Open Nationals at Chennai last year and Federation Cup in Patiala last week.
Indian athletes annexed the high jump titles in both men and women divisions. In men’s event the Indians were 1-2 with Jithin Thomas takes the gold from compatriot Nikhil Chittarasu after the duo scaled an identical 2.18m.
Olympian Sahana Kumari was a lucky winner on the distaff side after sharing the same height (1.86m) with Uzbekistan’s Asian Games silver medallist Nadezhda Dusanova.
India had another 1-2 when distance runners Nitin Rawat and Kheta Ram garnered gold and silver medals in men’s 5000m. A sixth place finish when competed with the elite African runners in the Incheon half-marathon earlier this March and the top-spot after a tight finish during the Federtion Cup in Patiala last month, Nitin Rawat emerged as a leading distance runner in the country. However both Rawat and Kheta Ram need to work further to return their sub-14 performances in the next available opportunity to improve further.
World championship qualification continue to elude two Indian athletes—hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya and triple jumper Renjith Maheswary. Thingalaya clocked 13.88 secs to finish second in 110m hurdles while Renjith also finished second with a leap of 16.83m—a mere 2 cm short for the “B” grade.
Veteran Roman Valiyev emerged as a winner in triple jump with a grand 17.10m—his second best ever after a phenomenal 17.20m to win his national championship at Almaty last year. Indian Arpinder Singh, who missed the Moscow qualification by a shade-1 cm-during the FedCup, finished a commendable third in 16.74m.
Another veteran who stole the limelight once again was Guzel Khubbieva of Uzbekistan in women’s
100m with a time of 11.77 secs. Khubbieva was a multiple-winner at this event in the Asian GP series of the past.
India’s Mukesh Kumari collected a bronze medal in the women’s javelin throw (50.56m). However Indian athletes had a disappointing show in both men’s shot put and relay events.
China’s Wang Li Ke won the shot put by tossing the iron ball to 18.91m. Indians Om Prakash Singh (17.68m) and Jasdeep Singh (17.50m) finished sixth and seventh respectively.
In the men’s 4x100m relay India finished last in 41.24 secs.
In women’s discus throw, Krishna Poonia barely missed the bronze medal and finished fourth with a throw of 56.31m while the other Indian competitor Navjeet Kaur Dhillon was sixth in 46.96m.
In women’s events, medals sweeps were achieved by athletes from China in discus throw and Kazakhstan in 100m hurdles.
The second leg of the Asian Grand Prix will be held at Chonburi in Thailand on 8 May.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
India sends 22 athletes for this year’s Asian GP series
Delhi – 3 May 2013
The Athletics Federation of India is fielding as much as 16 men and 6 women for this year’s Asian Grand Prix series commencing tomorrow at Bangkok. Thailand’s Chonburi (8 May) and Sri Lankan capital Colombo (12 May) will host the second and third legs of the AGP respectively.
Karnataka’s ace quarter-miler M.R. Poovamma, who won 400m in two of the three-leg series last year, will play a lead role this time as well since she improved her personal best to 52.75 secs less than 10 days ago at the Federation Cup senior athletics championships and narrowly missed the World championships qualifying standard by a mere 4/10th of a second.
Among the men triple jumper Arpinder Singh, who also missed the Moscow qualification by just 1 cm in Patiala, besides promising 110m hurdler Siddanth Thingalaya are the top prospects from the Indian side.
Shameer Mon (100m, 4x100m Relay); Arokia Rajiv (400m); Nitender Singh Rawat (3000/5000m); Kheta Ram (3000/5000m); Siddanth Thingalaya (100m hurdles, 4x100m Relay); Nikhil Chittarasu (High jump); Jithin C. Thomas (High jump); Arpinder Singh (Triple jump); Renjith Maheswary (Triple jump); Om Prakash Singh (Shot put); Jasdeep Singh Dhillon (Shot put); Davinder Singh (Javelin throw); Vipin Kasana (Javelin throw); M. Vijaya Kumar (4x100m Relay); Ritesh Anand (4x100m Relay); T. Balamurugan (4x100m Relay)
M.R. Poovamma (400m); Anu Mariam Jose (400m); Sahana Kumari (High jump); Krishna Poonia (Discus throw); Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (Discus throw); Mukesh Kumari (Javelin throw)
Anatolii Varda; Evgeniy Shivilli; Ivegen Nikitin; Virender Poonia; C. Thirugnanadurai
MANAGER: R. Sunny Joshua
/ AFI /
ONGC retains overall title, Siddhant and Mayookha completes double
Patiala, 26 April 2013
The team from Oil and Natural Gas Commission retained the overall trophy in the 17th Federation Cup senior athletics championships which concluded at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports grounds here this evening with a whooping tally of 177 points. Kerala (113), Tamil Nadu (78), Haryana (71) and Punjab (66) finished in that order behind the leader.
Although none of the athletes meet out the World championship qualifying norms in the four-days of competitions at least two women athletes came nearer to it in M.R. Poovamma (52.75 secs) and Asha Roy (23.70s), both having missed the “B” standard in 4/10th of a second in 400 and 200m events respectively.
Among the men, the outstanding athletes were long jumper Ankit Sharma (7.91 mtrs) and high hurdler Siddhant Thingalaya (13.84 secs). The “B” qualification marks in these events have been 8.10m and 13.50s.
Everyone had high hopes on Siddhant, who sets his first national mark in 110m hurdles at the same venue and went on to improve it to 13.65 secs while competed in the Belgian Nationals at Brussels last year before sustained an injury which prevents his ambition to gain a berth on the team bound for London Olympics. Having won the Australian Nationals at Sydney with a wind-aided 13.72 secs less than two weeks ago and the fastest man title at this meet on the opening day, Siddhant was expected to achieve the World championships qualification here. However he could not materialise it this afternoon, but confident of making it in the coming weeks.
Former Asian junior bronze medallist Hemasree Jayabal, a trainee of Nandakumar and LIC employee from Coimbatore, snatched the women’s 100m hurdles gold in a photo-finish from Kerala’s K.V. Sajitha (14.37 to 14.40 secs).
Reigning Asian long jump champion Mayookha Johny garnered a second gold in triple jump today with a decent 13.46m leap. Although she did cross 13m in all her six try-outs, Mayookha could not find her rhythm to go beyond 14m for seriously trying to attain the global norms. Same was the case with Olympians Om Prakash Singh in shot put and Krishna Punia in women’s discus throw events.
Triple jumper Arpinder Singh and quarter-miler M.R. Poovamma have been adjudged as ‘Best Athletes’ of the meet.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Sudha Singh improves meet mark in steeplechase
Patiala, 25 April 2013
Chandrodaya Narayan Singh (21) was successfully defends his title in hammer throw. Although today’s performance was almost 2m lesser when compared to his last year’s performance and meet record of 67.78m, no one nearer the 65.88m mustered by him in ball and chain event on Tuesday evening.
National champion Kamalpreet Singh of ONGC, who registered a season’s best 66.15m while taking a silver medal when toured in United States in the Aggie Open at Davis (California) last month, could manage only 63.98m here for the second place.
Olympian Sudha Singh improved her three-year old meet mark in 3000m steeplechase clocking 10 min 13.83 secs. Wahida Rehman (CRPF) was a distant second in 10:52.43.
Haryana’s Jaiveer retained the men’s title with a time of 8:57.86 after logged in to a battle with Rajasthan steeplechaser Naveen Kumar (8:58.38) in most part of the race. Meet record-holder Ramachandran (8:44.33) of Tamil Nadu is currently nursing an injury and hence could not compete here. “I shall be ready by June for the National Inter-State championships and certainly achieve the Asian and World championship qualifications at Chennai” revealed Ramachandran.
Another Haryana lad Parveen Kumar avenged his defeat to Bineesh Jacob in pole vault from last year. Kumar scaled to 4.80m to win the event while Jacob cleared 10 cm shorter, exactly the opposite of what they did in the previous edition.
Long jumper Ankit Sharma was the third athlete to defend the title on the third day of the championships with a leap of 7.91m. It was the second best this season by an Indian after Kumaravel Premkumar’s 7.95m in Tamil Nadu state meet at Madurai recently.
Punjab’s Satinder Singh (51.00 secs) and R. Elavarasi (60.10s) from Indian Bank had won the 400m hurdles in their respective divisions.
Aided by three Kerala-origin athletes, the women’s sprint relay title went to Chattisgarh in 47.40 secs. The team from Andhra Pradesh edged Tamil Nadu to conquer the men’s title in 41.06 to 41.10 secs.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Despite personal best Poovamma missed global meet qualification
Patiala, 24 April 2013
Machettira Raju Poovamma improved her personal best in 400m run with a splendid timing of 52.75 secs on the second day of Federation Cup senior athletics championships here. Although she defends her title from last year’s meet which was held at the same venue, the 22-year-old woman from Mangalore expressed her disappointment for not making the World championships qualification mark by just 4/10th of a second. Kerala girl Anu Mariam Jose, who pushed Poovamma all the way could manage only 53.88 secs and settled with a silver while her state-mate Anju Thoams garnered the bronze in 55.14s. Poovamma’s previous best was 52.94 secs which she clocked while winning the Asian Grand Prix at Bangkok last year.
Another athlete who successfully defended her title was Poovamma’s ONGC teammate Kushbir Kaur in 20 km walk. Till a junior the meet and national record-holder (1:37:28) had a comfortable win on the familiar course with a time of 1:38:03. Rani Yadav, her nearest rival from Uttar Pradesh, completed the race four minutes after the winner.
Rajiv’s winning spree continues
Unlike the above mentioned successful women, the day witnessed three men fails to retain their gold from 2012, both on tracks. Kunhu Muhammed (400m) and Sajeesh Joseph (800m) finished second in their respective events after giving tough fight to the eventual winners Arokia Rajiv and Manjit Singh. The last one being high jumper Jithin C. Thomas from Kerala, who lost the title to Tamil Nadu’s Nikhil Chittarasu. Jithin could manage to clear only 2.13m today as against his 2.20m in last year. Nikhil sailed over 2.19m this evening for the top spot.
Hails from Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, Arokia Rajiv extends his winning-streak at NSNIS Patiala to three after his back-to-back victories over 400m distance in the Indian Grand Prix earlier this month and equalled his personal best 46.57s, which he first set while winning the National Open championships at Chennai last year. Kunhu Muhammed (46.83) and Bibin Mathew (46.94) collected the remaining medals in that race.
As expected the Pune-based Army Sports Institute’s Dileep Kumar, representing Maharashtra, won the decathlon event garnering 6546 points.
In the absence of any top notch athletes to push her, Mayookha Johny decided to reserve her energy for the triple jump and thus made it easy on the long jump with a modest leap of 6.16m to win the gold.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
The day-1 belongs to distance runners
Patiala, 23 April 2013
The 17th Federation Cup senior athletics championships begun at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports grounds with a high class men’s 5000m race this morning. Uttarakhand’s Nitender Singh pips pre-race favourite Kheta Ram of Rajasthan at the post to win the event in 13 mins 55.28 secs. The Rajasthani was just one-tenth-of-a-second behind for the silver medal, while Mohd. Yunus from Maharashtra and ONGC runner Suresh Kumar were third and fourth clocking 13:55.62 and 13:56.53 respectively. Such a fine race never occurred on Indian soil so often. The top-four finishers running under 14-minutes in a national competition thus showed the intensity of competition and rivalry between these elite athletes. In recent times only Surendra Singh clocked two sub-14 mins timings in 2009 at India prior to today’s race at Inter-State and Open Nationals. The incredible days of Bahadur Prasad before the millennium when he accomplished several such feats is now history! Incidentally Bahadur Prasad’s national record of 13:29.70 set in 1992 and Surendra Singh’s meet mark of 13:51.64 since 2007 remain intact. Surendra Singh is now a qualified coach and in-charge for the country’s women distance runners.
The 27-year-old Asian Games silver medallist Kavita Raut, representing ONGC, was an easy winner over 10000m in 35:30.21. The reigning Asian Games champion Preeja Sreedharan stayed off after her marriage last year and today’s race said to be the last one for Kavita before her wedding! Three other runners from Kavita’s home state Maharashtra, Lalita Babar (35:35.08), Monika Athare (35:44.80) and Manisha Salunkhe (36:05.16), have finished in that order behind the winner.
Siddanth, Merlin fastest athletes of the meet
National 110m hurdles record-holder Siddanth Thingalaya pushed the much fancied Sameer Mon and Manikanda Raj to become the fastest man of the meet with a time of 10.55 secs. Kerala girl Merlin K. Joseph maintained her state’s tradition by taking the women’s title in an excellent 11.75 secs. Srabani Nanda from Odisha was one-hundredth of a second faster than Bengal’s Asha Roy (11.89 to 11.90s) for the second spot.
Kyathi vaulted to new record
It is rare to see a qualified medical practitioner taking part in sports, especially the track and field athletics. Kyathi Vakharia is one such rare person who not only taken part in athletics but also in one of its highly technical events—the pole vault. Having graduated recently no one imagined Kyathi walking towards the high raising bar and measured it with her pole. However she did so in style and cleared a personal best 4 metres, thus become the second woman athlete in the country to scale that magical height. National record-holder V S Surekha from Tamil Nadu and Kerala’s K C Dija completes the podium with an identical height of 3.70m.
With no big guns around the scene, Arjun (Tata Motors) and Mukesh Kumari (Haryana) easily annexed the top positions in men’s discus throw (56.78m) and women’s javelin throw (52.69m). In discus throw national record-holder Vikas Gowda achieved the World championships qualification with a mark of 65.82m in Mesa Classic at the beginning of this month.
Arpinder upsets Renjith in triple jump
In the much awaited contest between Arpinder Singh (ONGC) and Renjith Maheswari (Tamil Nadu), the verdict went in favour of the 20-year-old Arpinder as he leapt 16.84m—just 1 cm shy of the World’s qualification! Olympian Renjith could muster only 16.65m today. Now both Arpinder and Renjith need to try their luck in the Asian Grand Prix series to be held in Thailand and Sri Lanka next month.
Sahana Kumari (1.84m) and Jhuma Khatoon (4:31.01) had won the women’s high jump and 1500m respectively. While Sahana made a cake-walk in her event, Jhuma faced a tough time with experienced Sinimole Paulose (4:31.53) and Pratima Tadu (4:31.60) for her win.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
PREVIEW: 23 athletes returning to defend their title
Patiala, 21 April 2013
The 17th edition of Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships is scheduled to be held at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports grounds here from 23 to 26, this month.
As much as 23 athletes, ten of them are women, are returning to defend their last year’s title at the same venue as per the provisional entry lists available. The Federation Cup will be the first full-fledged competition opportunity available to the Indian aspirants who are wishing to make it to the National Team for the upcoming Asian championships at New Delhi in July and the World championships at Moscow, a month later.
It was in the Federation Cup at the same venue last year Tamil Nadu’s Renjith Maheswary attained Olympic qualification with a leap of 16.85m in triple jump. Although he is eagerly looking forward to another such feat in this year’s competition, the national team selectors are of the opinion that Renjith should maintain a consistency of performances in other meets of this season as well in order to allow him get in the national squad following his disappointing show in London last year.
Siddhanth Thingalaya, who narrowly missed the Olympic qualification in 110m hurdles following an injury sustained in the Belgian nationals at Brussels during last season, is planning to return to his favourite track at NSNIS where he set his first-ever national mark – 13.81 secs – three years ago. In 2012 he clocked 13.69 secs, the fastest by an Indian athlete on home soil and a new meet record in his pet event in the Federation Cup here.
Walker Kushbir Kaur, who sets a national record (1:37:28) in last year’s championship, will be the favourite among the women. Quarter-miler M.R. Poovamma, distance runners Sinimole Paulose and Archana Pal—both having achieved ‘double victories’ in their respective events last year, besides high jumper Sahana Kumari and hammer thrower Manju Bala are all set to retain their pole position from 2012.
Bengal’s multi-event specialist Sushmita Singha Roy, who already had four wins in Federation Cup to her credit, is hoping to extend her winning-streak further.
ONGC and Kerala state, the champions in men and women divisions respectively, are expected to maintain their supremacy this year also.
While high jumper Jithin Thomas remains in the Kerala team, pole-vaulter Bineesh Jacob is switching over to Chattisgarh this time.
Following her wedding, last year’s double gold medallist M.A. Prajusha decided to take a break from the jumping arena. However Olympian Mayookha Johny is promised to keep the show alive with some high octane performance this week.
Two other Olympians, shot putter Om Prakash Singh and discus thrower Krishna Punia, will also hope to improve farther in the four days of competitions which attracts top field from across the country.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Annual General Body Meeting – day 2
Delhi, 14 April 2013
The two-day Annual General Body Meeting of the federation has concluded at Hotel Mapple Emerald, Rajokari, New Delhi on Sunday. Following were the key decisions taken during the second day of the above meeting.
Activity reports for the period 2012-13 have been presented by various state units and committees of the federation.
The federation had set-up event-wise monitoring committees with eminent sportspersons of the past as members to monitor various athletics camps taking place across the country on a regular basis.
The house unanimously elected Mr Prasun Mukherjee of West Bengal and Mr Kunwar Fateh Bahadur of Uttar Pradesh as Vice-Presidents on the vacancies arose following the elevation of Mr W.I. Davaram as Senior Vice-President and resignation of Mr Sushil Salwan.
Mr. Ajaib Singh Kaleka of Punjab was co-opted as an Associate Vice-President of the federation.
Dr. Tony Daniel from Kerala has been named as Chairman-Technical Committee, following the election of Mr P.K. Srivatsava as Treasurer earlier.
All the state units were advised to set-up their own websites and to publish their activities regularly for the benefit of the athletes.
In a move to inspire more number of young people taking part in competitive athletics it was decided to incorporate the IAAF Kids athletics programme in India from this year onwards.
The federation has decided to disaffiliate those state units which are failing to conduct their activities and taken part in the national competitions.
Annual General Body Meeting – day 1
Delhi, 13 April 2013
The two-day Annual General Body Meeting of the federation has commenced at Hotel Mapple Emerald, Rajokari, New Delhi on Saturday. Following were the key decisions taken during the opening day of the above meeting.
The main agenda on the opening session on 13th April 2013 of the AGM had been the Election of Office-Bearers, viz., President, Senior Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, which was taken up at 10.30 a.m.
President : Mr Adille J. Sumariwalla (Maharashtra Athletics Association)
Senior Vice-President : Mr W.I. Davaram (Tamil Nadu Athletics Association)
Secretary : Mr C.K. Valson (Tamil Nadu Athletics Association)
Treasurer : Mr P.K. Srivatsava (Uttar Pradesh Athletics Association)
Delhi March 25
The Executive Committee Meeting and Annual General Body Meeting of Athletics Federation of India (AFI) will be held on 13th and 14th April 2013 in Hotel Maple, Rajokari, New Delhi at 10.30 A.M.
Apart from the regular agenda, the election for the post of President/Senior Vice President/Hony. Secretary/Treasurer for the term ending 2016 will also be held in this meeting on 13th April 2013. For more information on Annual General Body Meeting click sublinks given below: