Triple jumper Renjith Maheswary joined the qualifiers' list for the London Olympic Games by reaching 16.85 metres on the opening day of the Federation Cup athletics championships at the NIS Complex here on Saturday.
The qualification standard happened to be exactly what Renjith had jumped in the fifth round.
He now joins nine other Indians among those who have made the Olympic grade.
Barring Renjith's feat, performance levels remained ordinary in the men's section as athletes strained to put up a decent show even if they only had a very remote chance of reaching the requisite standards.
In the women's category, Sahana Kumari reached a personal best 1.88m in high jump and found that she was still four centimetres short of the Olympic qualification mark.
Also touching a personal best was UP javelin thrower Suman Devi who won with a 56.11m effort that bettered her previous best of 54.36m achieved in 2005. The qualification standard was 59.00.
Renjith has taken determined strides this season after a mediocre 2011 when he only had a best of 16.09m. In 2010, he had posted a National record of 17.07m in winning the bronze in the Commonwealth Games.
He started off with a 15.84 and then had 16.51 and 16.56 before achieving the target he was aiming for in the fifth round. He had two fouls too. “A 17-plus jump was possible but the track here does not give the kind of response that jumpers are looking for,” said Renjith.
An Asian champion in 2007, the 26-year-old Kerala-born athlete, now representing Tamil Nadu, has had his ups and downs.
Arpinder Singh, who topped the season charts last year with a 16.63, could manage only 16.20m for the silver.
Rane, Manisha win
Krishna Kumar Rane (10.51s) and Manisha (11.93s) won the men's and women's sprints, though with modest efforts.
After the ‘high' of 2010, when every other sprinter in the country seemed to be aiming for world standards, the sprinting standards had come down terribly last year.
The standards seemed to be picking up a little if Saturday's showing was any indication, but sprinters like Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (10.76s for sixth) and Ritesh Anand (10.91s for eighth) are still struggling to find their 2010 form when they had clocked 10.30s and 10.53s respectively.
The results: Men: 100m: 1. Krishna Kumar Rane (Mah) 10.51s, 2. Shameer Mon (Ker) 10.54, 3. Manikanda Raj (AP) 10.55.
5000m: 1. Sandeep Kumar (MP) 14:17.22, 2. Suresh Kumar (ONGC) 14:17.87, 3. Vishnu Lal Dangi (Raj) 14:19.57.
Triple jump: 1. Renjith Maheswary (TN) 16.85m (NMR, previous 16.72), 2. Arpinder Singh (ONGC) 16.20, 3. Raja Sekar (TN) 15.79.
Discus: 1. Kripal Singh (ONGC) 58.59m, 2. Anshu Rai (UP) 53.93, 3. Kamalpreet Singh (ONGC) 53.78.
Women: 100m: 1. Manisha (Har) 11.93s, 2. Srabani Nanda (Ori) 12.06, 3. Shirke Bhagyashree Nanasa (Mah) 12.28.
1500m: 1. Sinimole Paulose (ONGC) 4:19.33, 2. Jhuma Khatun (Jkd) 4:33.18, 3. Gomathy (TN) 4:39.23.
5000m: 1. Archana Pal (UP) 18:11.49, 2. Anuradha Singh (MP) 18:14.15, 3. Sobha V. V. (Ker) 18:29.75.
High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari (Kar) 1.88m, 2. Mallika Mondal (Ben) 1.79, 3. Chandana K. C. (Kar) 1.73.
Pole vault: 1. Remya Ravindran (Guj) 3.40m, 2. Babli Mitra (Ben) 3.20, 3. D. Thamilarasi (TN) 3.10.
Javelin: 1. Suman Devi (UP) 56.11 (NMR, previous 55.88), 2. Rupinder Kaur (Pun) 51.92, 3. Mukesh (Har) 47.66.
Keywords: 2012 London Olympics