Haryana’s Yashvir Singh and distance runners Sunil Dawar (Madhya Pradesh) and Ankita (Uttarakhand) heralded the return of national-level athletics competition with new meet records at the 18th Federation Cup Junior (U20) Championships in Bhopal on Monday.
The 19-year-old broke Neeraj Chopra’s meet record in winning the javelin throw with a best effort of 78.68m, ahead of the 76.91m set by Chopra in 2015. His five valid throws went past the 75m, the best coming from his second attempt.
The 18-year-old Ankita claimed the first new mark after national-level competition resumed. The girl from Uttarakhand ran the 5000m race in 16:37.90 and claimed top honours in the championships for the second successive time. She bettered Suman Rani’s record of 17:02.67 set in Coimbatore in 2018.
Ankita had won the 5000m race in Tiruvannamalai in September 2019 with a time of 17:16.49.
She went on to add the 1500m title, doing just enough to stay ahead of Haryana’s Pooja and winning with a time of 4:27.54.
Dawar, a South Asian Games 5000m silver medallist in 2019, claimed the 1500m meet mark by clocking 3:48.54 to improve on the 3:51.16 set by Shashi Bhushan Singh in Hyderabad in 2015.
Saurabh Rajesh Naitam (Maharashtra) and Taranjeet Kaur (Delhi) emerged as the fastest athletes of the meet, winning the men’s and women’s 100m sprints respectively in 10.51 seconds and 11.70 seconds.