Tenjhipalam (Malappuram): The opening day of the 25th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships began with some remarkable timings posted by the 400m runners at the Calicut University Stadium here on Saturday.
Aishwarya Mishra of Maharashtra stunned all by clocking 52.41 seconds in the women’s 400m heats while four men clocked sub-47 seconds in the semifinals to set up at least two mouth-watering finals on Sunday.
However, there was plenty of trouble the day had in store for the 400m athletes. There was a starting block malfunction during the men’s 400m heats and again during the men’s 100m semifinals.
There were no official complaints from the athletes, though the third heat needed to be restarted thrice in men’s 400m. “I could not hear properly after the ‘get set’ before the gun shot,” said a 400m runner who requested anonymity.
Another competitor was asked by the starter to remove the headgear he was wearing.
Amidst all these disturbances, Amoj Jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom, Rajesh Ramesh, Muhammed Ajmal, Santhokumar T and Arokia Rajiv won their respective heats. In the semis later in the evening, Amoj (46.59s), Ajmal (46.88s), Rajesh (46. 65s) and Santhosh (46.97s) posted sub-47s timings, bringing smiles to the Indian national campers team.
A former national camper, Aishwarya Mishra, stunned all by clocking 52.41 seconds in the women’s 400m heats. The Mumbai girl had done sub-53s once before in 2021 during Maharashtra State Open Championship.
Sreeshankar sends warning to rivals; Kartik, Sanjivani win golds
In the men’s long jump qualifying round, national record-holder M Sreeshankar, with a leap of 8.09m, sounded warning to rivals Jeswin Aldrin (7.94m), David P (7.78m), Yogant Singh (7.72m) and Md Anees (7.62m). The final will be held on Sunday evening.
Earlier in the day, Kartik Kumar of Uttar Pradesh, a Naib Subedar with Jat Regiment in Bareilly, wrested the gold medal in men’s 10000m, which was held at 6 am. Half-an-hour later Sanjivani Jadhav of Maharashtra lived up to her billing by bagging the gold in women’s 10000m.
Their performances were in contrasting styles. Kartik, only 23 and a former Asian junior medallist, warded off the challenge from Sawan Barwal of Himachal Pradesh and Gulveer Singh of the UP in a stiff challenge at the final stretch. Kartik stopped the timer at 29 minutes 20.21 seconds while Sawan (29:21.29s) and Gulveer (29.22.44s) took the podium among 26 competitors.
Favourites and defending champion Abhishek Pal failed to finish while Murli Kumar Gavit of Gujarat and Kisan Tadvi finished 11th and 14th.
Sanjivani was rarely tested. She was the first to take the lead and finished first in the 25-lap event, competed in by six runners. Seema of HP, who shadowed her famed rival till the halfway mark, fell back to concede a lead to the eventual champion. Kavita Yadav of UP took bronze.
“I was expecting to do better as I had prepared well but the humid conditions dented my hopes,” Kartik told The Bridge after the race. Sanjivani, 25, too echoed the sentiment. “In Nashik, where I train, it (the climate) is much better. I never expected to sweat so much and so early in the morning,” she said.
In the women’s pole vault event, Rosy Meena Paulraj of Tamil Nadu, who soared to 4.00m, became only the fifth Indian to clear 4.00m.She tried beat the existing meet record of 4.06m by setting the bar at 4.08m but her attempts were in vain.
Rosy Meena Paulraj of Tamil Nadu clearing 4.00 metres to win gold medal in women’s pole vault event.
Day 1 results (finals):
10000m: Kartik Kumar (UP, 29:20.21), Sawan Barwal (HP, 29:21.29s), Gulveer Singh (UP, 29:22.44s);
10000m: Sanjivani Jadhav (Maha, 33:13.07s), Seema (HP, 34:31.44s), Kavita Yadav (UP, 34:56.42s); Pole Vault: Rosy Meena Paulraj (TN, 4.00m), Baranica Elangovan (TN , 3.90), Pooja (Har, 3.80m).
Javelin throw: Sahil Silwal, Rohit Yadav
100m: A Vignesh, B Siva Kumar, K Elakkiyadasan
Long jump: Sreeshankar, Aldrin, Anees, Yugant
400m: Amoj, Rajesh, Noah, Ajmal, Santhish
1500m: Jinson Johnson, Ajay Saroj,
200m: Dutee Chand, Archana Suseendran, Daneshwari AT
Shot put: Kachnar Chaudhary, Manpreet Kaur
400m: Aishawarya, Poovamma, Summy, Vithya Ramraj
1500m: Lili Das