Na­tional Open ath­let­ics: Records ga­lore


The 5■th Na­tional Open ath­let­ics cham­pi­onship, which was sched­uled af­ter the Asian Games, at the Kalinga Sta­dium in Bhubaneswar, was ex­pected to be a dull event due to the ab­sence of sev­eral big stars. How­ever, the meet be­came mem­o­rable be­cause of teenage Ker­ala long jumper M. Sree­shankar and Ser­vices steeplechaser Av­inash Sable who broke the Na­tional records in style.

Sree­shankar, 19, who was go­ing through a lean patch fol­low­ing an ap­pen­dici­tis surgery in March, fi­nally struck form and rewrote the meet record and the Na­tional record of Ankit Sharma in the space of three jumps. He jumped ■.11m to set a meet record and then did an ■.20m to achieve the Na­tional record.

Sable, who could not give his best in the Asian Games tri­als af­ter re­cov­er­ing from an an­kle in­jury, found his touch to erase Gopal Saini’s 37­year­old Na­tional record of ■:30.■■ by clock­ing ■:29.■0.

A lesser known An­jali Devi Kundu stunned ev­ery­one by tim­ing 51.79 to win the women’s 400m ti­tle with a meet record in only her third one­lap race.

S. Siva (pole vault), Sarvesh Kushare (high jump) and Ayyasamy Dharun (400m hur­dles) were the oth­ers who cre­ated new meet records.

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