Sprinter Srabani Nanda has become the first Indian track and field athlete to participate in a competition amid the coronavirus pandemic, competing at a meet in Jamaica alongside some of the world’s best runners last week.
The 29-year-old Nanda competed in the 100m race at the Velocity Fest meeting at Jamaica College in Kingston, representing the MVP Track club. She won heat two in 11.78 seconds for a third-place finish overall. The Velocity Fest was Jamaica’s first track-and-field event since March.
Apart from Nanda, the Velocity Fest also had double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce competing.
Reigning Olympic champion Thompson, also representing MVP Track Club, was the overall winner with a timing of 11.19 seconds. Fraser-Pryce, representing Nike, won the women’s 200m in 22.74 seconds. Former 100m world champion Yohan Blake won the men’s 200m in 20.62 seconds.
Nanda, who has been training in Jamaica for the last few years, had competed in races in Jamaica earlier this year as well, before the pandemic brought sporting activity to a halt.
Nanda has a personal best of 11.45 in 100m and 23.07 in 200m. She took part in the 2016 Olympics and finished sixth in her heat. She was part of the bronze-winning 4x100m relay quartet in the 2017 Asian Championships. She had also won a 200m gold and a 100m silver in the 2016 South Asian Games.
With PTI Inputs