Indian athletics

IAAF U-20 Worlds: India have only Hima Das’s gold, a personal best, one national record to show

There were 31 Indian athletes participating in the event.

Of the 31 Indian athletes that participated in the Athletics Under-20 World Championships in Tampere, Finland, Hima Das was the only medallist as she became the fourth person to win gold for India at the competition.

Das, 18, was also the first ever track medallist for India at any global meet and the second U-20 gold winner after Neeraj Chopra, who had triumphed in the javelin throw event in 2016. India finished 18th in the overall standings, with one gold to its name.

Shot-putter Ashish Bhalothia was the only one in the 31-strong contingent who bettered his personal best, while Sahil Silwal and Kamalraj Kanagaraj bagged the fourth and fifth places respectively in the javelin throw and triple jump finals.

The women’s 4X400 metres relay team also set a new Under-20 national record, clocking a time of 3:39.10 seconds, bettering the old one set in 2002. Most Indian athletes didn’t get close to their personal or seasonal bests, finishing way off their own marks.

Ankit in the men’s 1,500 metres, M Karuniya in the women’s discus throw, Arshdeep Singh in the men’s javelin throw, Beant Singh in the men’s 1,500 metres and Damneet Singh in the men’s hammer throw showed a sizeable deviation from their bests.

Women's 400m

Name Performance Standing Personal best/Season best
Hima Das 52.25s (heat 4), 52.10s (semis), 51.46s (Final) Won India's first gold in track events 51.13/51.13
Jisna Mathews 54.32 (heat 5), 53.86 (semis) Finished 13th overall 52.65/53.26

Women's 4x400m relay

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
India (Hima Das, Jisna Mathews, V Subha, Ritika) 3:39.10 (National Record) finished 12th overall 3:40.50/3:41.11

Men's 4X400m relay

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
India (Rajesh Ramesh, Devender Kumar, Stanley Cibbinkumar, Ayush Dabas) 3:14.19 Finished 16th 3:08.89/3:12.90

Men's 4X100m relay

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
India (Prajwal Mandanna, Akash Kumar, Balakumar Nithin, P.S.Saneesh) 41.11 Finished 17th 40.56/40.75

Women's Triple Jump

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Priyadarshini Suresh 12.50m finishes 20th 13.07/13.07

Women's Discus Throw

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Arpandeep Kaur 48.17m finished 21st 49.56m/49.56m
M Karuniya 43.96m finished 26th 48.58m/48.58m

Women's 100m hurdles

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Sapna Kumari 14.15s finished 5th in heat and 32nd overall 13.61s/13.61s

Women's 1500m

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Durga Deore DNF DNF 4:23.15/4:23.15

Men's 1500m

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Ankit 4:05.15 Finished 36th 3:47.09/3:47.09

Men's 10,000m

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Kartik Kumar 30:30.28 Finished 12th 30:05.30/30:05.30

Men's Long Jump

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Sreeshankar Murali 7.68 (Qualification), 7.75 (Final) Finished 6th 7.99/7.99
Lokesh Sathyanathan 7.31 (Qualification) Finished 17th 7.74/7.74

Men's Shot Put (6 kg)

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Ashish Bhalothia 18.62 (PB) Finished 14th 18.53/18.53

Men's 400m

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Gaurav 48.61 Finished 42nd 46.93/46.93

Men's Hammer Throw

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Ashish Jakhar 70.52 (Qualification), 74.59 (Finals) Finished 6th 76.86/76.86
Damneet Singh 67.48 (Qualification) Finished 15th 74.08/74.08

Men's 800m

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Beant Singh 1:49.66 Finished 15th 1:46.92

Men's Triple Jump

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Kangaraj Kamalraj 15.98 (Qualification), 15.82 (Final) Finished 5th 16.41/15.96

Men's Javelin Throw

Name Performance Standing PB/SB
Sahil Silwal 73.22 (Qualification), 72.83 (Final) Finished 4th 74.88/74.88
Arshdeep Singh 63.05 Finished 23rd 71.47/71.47
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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.