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.
Y. B. SARANGI