The presence of a Phoolan Devi and a Saddam Hussain notwithstanding, the action for the second day running in the 29th junior National athletics championships was riveted to the high jump arena.
And the sparse crowd at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium rose as one to acknowledge the National-record-breaking leap of Swapna Barman (West Bengal) in the morning and the efforts of S. Harshith (Karnataka) in the evening, when the latter broke L. Yogaraj’s five-year-old meet mark.
The 17-year-old Swapna, a heptathlete who switched over to high jump under SAI East Zone coach Subash Sarkar only a year ago, sailed over the bar at 1.71 metres to better Kavya Muthanna’s eight-year-old National mark of 1.70. The meet record of 1.68 stood in the name of Jinu Maria Manuel (Kerala), set in 2010.
“My coach dissuaded me from travelling to Brazil for the World School Games stating that my short stature would be a deterrent at the international level,” said Swapna.Harshith shines
Late in the day and under fading light, Harshith, who has carried the responsibility of garnering the gold medal for the state in age group competitions, stood tall to clinch the yellow metal, and with a record to boot.
Harshith, hampered by a hamstring strain since the Shimoga State meet three weeks ago, flopped over the bar at 2.13 metres but failed in his attempts at 2.18 which would have resulted in a new junior National record.
There were some encouraging results in the track as well with hurdlers stealing the spotlight. Meghana Shetty of Karnataka was way off the mark but still turned out to be good enough for a gold with 14.88 seconds in the girls’ under-20 100m hurdles.
The results: Boys: U-20: 110m hurdles: 1. M. Nasimudheen (Ker) 14.38s, 2. Jashanjot Singh (Pun) 14.51, 3. Tarundeep Singh (Pun) 14.57. 5,000m: 1. Rajendra Bind (UP) 14:57.61, 2. Sriom Patel (Kar) 15:01.04, 3. Albin Sunny (Ker) 15:28.43. High Jump: 1. S. Harshith (Kar) 2.13m (NMR, Old: 2.12, L. Yogaraj, 2008), 2. Sreenith Mohan (Ker) 2.11, 3. Rahul (Har) 2.06.
U-18: 110m hurdles: 1. Maymon Poulose (Ker) 14.16s, 2. Aftab Alam (Mah) 14.38, 3. Santosh (Kar) 14.49. 10,000m walk: 1. Mahendra Singh (Guj) 44:41.28, 2. Shailesh Kumar (MP) 44:41.35, 3. Rahul Astagi (Kar) 47:25.09. Long Jump: 1. C. Sirajudheen (Ker) 7.20m, 2. P.S. Vishnu (TN) 6.97, 3. Abul Hasan (UP) 6.97. Hammer: 1. Prakash Singh (UP) 65.55m, 2. Sabeel Ahmed (UP) 63.33, 3. Vivek Singh (Jhk) 63.12.
U-16: 100m hurdles: 1. Mur Debarjun (WB) 13.35s, 2. Md. Tarif (Man) 13.50, 3. K. Shamnas (Ker) 13.69. Hammer: 1. Ashish Jakhar (Har) 58.72m, 2. Meraj Ali (UP) 58.37, 3. Md. Arshalan (UP) 57.64. Javelin: 1. Rajesh Kumar (UP) 62.58, 2. Vijay Lakra (Jhk) 58.06, 3. Jay Singh (MP) 57.89. Shot Put: 1. Mankirat Singh (Pun) 16.14, 2. Saddam Hussain (Del) 16.08, 3. Prashant Bahadur (UP) 15.38.
Girls: U-20: 100m hurdles: 1. Meghana Shetty (Kar) 14.88s, 2. Mariya Juliet (Ker) 15.02, 3. T.S. Arya (Ker) 15.56. 5,000m: 1. Pooja Warade (Mah) 17:40.79, 2. M.D. Thara (Ker) 18:03.75, 3. P.D. Vibitha (Ker) 18:17.03. 10,000m walk: 1. Shanti Kumari (Del) 53:45.49, 2. Saroj Rani (Pun) 56:20.97, 3. Mary Margaret (Ker) 56:21.08.
U-18: 100m hurdles: 1. Dibi Sebastian (Ker) 14.76s, 2. Rajeshwari Bhoi (Odi) 14.78, 3. Soumya Varghese (Ker) 14.97. 3,000m: 1. K.K. Vidhya (Ker) 10:30.56, 2. Arti Patil (Mah) 10:36.50, 3. M.V. Varsha (Ker) 10:45.71. High Jump: 1. Swapna Barman (WB) 1.71m (NMR, Old: 1.70, Kavya Muthanna, 2004), 2. Juelly Badhe (Mah) 1.65, 3. Aungkali (Nag) 1.63. Javelin: 1. Gopika Narayan (Ker) 43.17m, 2. Anju Patel (UP) 41.73, 3. Damayanti Murthy (Odi) 40.30.
U-16: Javelin: 1. Vanshika (UP) 36.35m, 2. P. Vishnupriya (Ker) 31.44, 3. Pratibha Tigga (Jhk) 30.98.