Hailing from Chinnakottumalai village in Cuddalore district, Anburaja joined the SDAT Sports Hostel in Tiruchi in 2006.

While an international honour is special by itself, a gold medal makes it all the more glittery.

Besides finishing on top in long jump at the recently-concluded South Asian junior athletics championship in Ranchi, P. Anburaja, has also set a new meet record by leaping to a distance of 7.41 metres. He eclipsed the previous mark of 7.36 metres set by Sri Lanka’s Sajith Nadeesha in 2007.

“Initially, my goal was to surpass my personal best of 7.28 metres, which I had set at the same venue couple of years ago. But creating a new record was definitely the icing on the cake,” says an elated Anburaja.

Hailing from Chinnakottumalai village in Cuddalore district, Anburaja joined the SDAT Sports Hostel in Tiruchi in 2006. Since then he has been practising under the watchful eyes of O. Gnanasuganthi, athletics coach at the hostel.

“Joining the sports hostel was the turning point. The systematic training provided by my coach helped me evolve as a long jumper,” says Anburaja, a second-year student of Shri Angalamman College of Engineering and Technology here.

Lauding Anburaja’s commitment and hard work, Ms. Gnanasuganthi believes that the achievement would spur the youngster to greater heights.

“He has the hunger to do it,” says the mentor about her protégé. P. Kalaiselvan, district sports officer, and N. Annavi, former international high jumper, felicitated the young athlete.