Shakti Solanki shattered the boys' under-14 shot put National record on the opening day of the 26th National junior athletics championships at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday.
The chilly, perpetually cloudy conditions proved conducive as five National records and three meet records tumbled.
Solanki's stupendous 17.71m effort was way ahead of N. Neethin's mark of 13.41, set at last year's meet at Warangal. The 13-year-old's previous best had been a 17.50 at the inter-zone meet at Guntur in September. “I was fully confident of breaking the record today,” said Solanki. It turned out to be a glorious day for shot putters as National records fell in the boys' under-16 and girls' under-14 events too. U.P.'s Shuvhendu Mishra and Haryana's Preeti Rani made considerable improvements on existing marks.
Therese Joseph's run in the under-14 girls' 400m event was another performance worthy of mention.
The Kerala girl overhauled P. Pavithra's time of 1:39.82 by clocking a massively superior 1:36.48.
Elsewhere, Tamil Nadu's B. Azarudeen expectedly took gold in the under-20 boys' long jump. The Tiruchi lad, though, admitted that he had not expected to better the meet record. Kerala leads the medals tally after the opening day, with four gold medals against its name.
Haryana, Tamil Nadu and U.P. all finished with three gold.
The host's only gold came courtesy of long jumper S. Harshith. The 17 year-old, although failing to better his personal best of 2.06m, cleared 2.02 to comfortably finish on top.
The results (winners only):
Boys: U-20: 10,000m: Yogendra Kumar (U.P.) 32:25.46; Long jump: B. Azarudeen (TN) 7.52m (NMR, Old: A.K. Shani 7.49); High jump: K. Gowtham (TN) 2.04m; Discus: Vikas (Har) 53.09m. U-18: High jump: S. Harshith (Kar) 2.02m; Discus: Sikander Jeet Singh (Pun) 54.14m.
U-16: 3000m: Nagraj Khursane (Mah) 8:50.93; Shot put: Shuvhendu Mishra (U.P.) 17.14m, (NR, Old: Navin 15.79). U-14: 600m: Raju Kumar Mahto (Jha) 1:27.99s (NR, Old: Rakesh 1:28.18); Shot put: Shakti Solanki (Del) 17.71m (NR, Old: N. Neethin 13.41).
Girls: U-20: 3000m: Arti Yadav (M.P.) 10:08.29s; High jump: Steny Michael (Ker) 1.65m; Javelin: Annu Rani (U.P.) 43.36m.
U-18: Triple jump: Pooja Jangra (Har) 12.01m; Javelin: P. Madhupriya (TN) 37.55m.
U-16: 100m (heats): Dutee Chand (Ori) 12.00s (NR, Old: A. Jessy 12.21); 3000m: P.U. Chithra (Ker) 10:18.53; Long jump: Nayana James (Ker) 5.79m (NMR, Old: Ruta Patkar 5.73).
U-14: 600m: Therese Joseph (Ker) 1:36.48 (NR, Old: P. Pavithra 1:39.82); Shot put: Preeti Rani (Har) 9.32m (NMR, Old: Athira Muralidharan 9.17).
Keywords: National junior athletics