Ranchi: Jasmine Kaur of Punjab & Karnataka’s Shaili Singh got the 34th National Junior Athletics Championships off to a grand start with new National Records on the first day of the four-day competition at the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Ranchi on Friday.
Jasmine set a record in the U-16 girls shot put event. Representing Punjab she flung the iron ball to a distance of 14.27m to eclipse the previous national record of 14.21m recorded by Paramjot Kaur two years ago at the Junior National Championships in Coimbatore.
Jasmine started out with a throw of 12.93m before setting the new national record with her second throw of the competition. She followed that effort with two more throws above 14m in her fourth (14.07m) and fifth attempts (14.03m).
Kaur was followed on the podium by Anjali of Haryana who also went past the old national mark with a best effort of 14.22m. Anjali opened with a throw of 13.39m and subsequently a foul mark before flinging the iron ball past the 14m mark on her fourth attempt. Anjali wouldn’t improve on that mark and had to be satisfied with the silver medal.
The bronze medal went to Tamil Nadu’s M Sharmila who secured the medal with her very last throw of the competition. Sharmila was trailing Haryana’s Shiksha (13.28m) until the final series of the competition. In her final attempt though she managed an effort of 13.82m to seal the bronze medal.
Shaili leaped to a distance of 5.94m in her last attempt to register a new National Record and grab a gold medal in the U-16 girls long jump event. Kavya M of Tamil Nadu won a silver medal with an effort of 5.38m while Haryana’s Jyoti settled for a bronze with a distance of 5.30m.
Amongst the other athletes to put up strong performances was Punjab long jumper Renu who eclipsed the old meet record in the women’s U-20 long jump competition.
Renu recorded a best effort of 6.22m to erase the previous meet record of 6.19m set by Asian Games silver medalist V Neena at the 2010 edition of the Junior National Championships in Bangalore. The national record of 6.30m stands in the name of Priyanka Karket set in 2017.
Renu began with a jump of 5.98m and followed that up with an effort of 6.05m – the first of her three jumps over the six-meter mark. She followed that up with two fouls before setting a new meet record of 6.22m. She looked to improve on that mark with her final jump of the competition but was only able to sign off with a jump of 6.08m.
Following Renu on the podium were Harshini Saravanan of Tamil Nadu who recorded a jump of 6.09m with her final jump of the competition. Her next best jump of the day was 5.99m which would have left her tied for second place with her statemate A Sherin who eventually finished with a bronze medal.
Javelin thrower Yashvir Singh, who had won a silver medal at the 2018 Khelo India School Games, too made a strong impression as he won the men’s U-18 javelin throw competition winning gold with a powerful throw of 75.63m
The effort was less than a meter short of the existing meet record of 76.50m recorded by Asian Games and Commonwealth Games champion Neeraj Chopra, at the 2014 edition of the tournament in Vijayawada.
Singh beat out reigning national Youth Champion Rohit Yadav who finished second with a credible 75.14m. Nandkishor Singh of Delhi claimed the third step on the podium with a best throw of 72.30m.
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