ATHLETICS / Mayookha Johny first in triple jump

Sudha Singh couldn’t have asked for more. In one run she received two rewards on the third and penultimate day of the National inter-State athletics at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.

Her first place finish in the women’s 3000m steeplechase in a time of 9:45.60s gave the 26-year-old from Uttar Pradesh a new National record and also helped her qualify for the World championship to be held in Moscow in August. She satisfied the ‘B’ standard mark of 9:48.00 for the Worlds.

On a day when it poured heavily during the evening session, the Kerala men’s team beat the 4x100m relay meet record with a time of 40.49s clipping the previous record set by Kerala team by 0.1 second.

However, triple jumper Mayookha Johny, the meet and National record holder, couldn’t produce her best. Though she won the gold with a leap of 13.58m, it wouldn’t be good enough to get her a medal in the Asian championship, she felt, leave alone the Worlds. 

The 25-year-old from Kerala termed her performance as “absolutely bad”.

“In the last Asian championship in Japan in 2011, I did 14.02 and finished third. I have to do above 14 to qualify for the World championship.”

Mayookha hinted that she preferred long jump to triple jump as she had done well in the former event this season. “Long jump will be my first priority,” she said.

For the last six years, Sudha has been racing without any major competition in India. Here, the thought running on the mind during the race, was to rewrite the meet record (hers), but the final timings surprised her.

“I was not thinking of that (the National record). In my mind, I was thinking of a meet record. I am really happy. The race was good, the new track was nice. It all added up for me,” said Sudha, hailing from Rae Bareli.

Jithin Thomas (Kerala) pipped Nikhil Chittarasu (Tamil Nadu) for gold on countback in the men’s high jump event. While both cleared 2.17m, Jithin cleared it on his first attempt while Nikhil did it on his third.  

The results: Men: 20km walk: 1. Babubhai Panuc (Guj) 1:28:07.20, 2. Surinder Singh (Pun) 1:28:32.60, 3. Ganapathi (TN) 1:30:08.10; 3000m steeplechase: 1. Jaiveer (Har) 8:54.42s, 2. Naveen Kumar (Har) 8:56.00, 3. Karamvir (Raj) 9:00.42; 4x100m relay: 1. Kerala (Anuroop John, Renjith, Shameer Mom, Rahul G. Pillai) 40.49s (NMR) (OR: 40.50, 2009); 2. Tamil Nadu, 41.21, 3. Punjab 42.23; High jump: 1. Jithin C. Thomas (Ker) 2.17m, 2. Nikhil Chittarasu (TN) 2.17, 3. Sreenith Mohan (Ker) 2.09; Pole vault: 1. Parveen Kumar (Har) 4.90m, 2. Balakrishnan (Kar) 4.85, 3. Sonusaini (Har) 4.75; Hammer: 1. Chandrodaya (UP) 67.54, 2. Kamalpreet Singh (Pun) 62.83, 3. Kaushal Singh (UP) 62.69.

Women: 20km walk: 1. Deepmala Devi (Jhr) 1:44:20.00, 2. Rani Yadav (UP) 1:46:59.40, 3. Ranjana Gupta (MP) 1:50:02.20; 3000m steeplechase: 1. Sudha Singh (UP) 9:45.60 (NR) (OMR: Sudha Singh, 10:01.24, 2011; ONR: Sudha Singh, 9:47.70, 2012, Huelva, Spain); 4x100m relay: 1. Kerala (Neethu Rajan, Sini, Priya, Merlin K. Joseph) 46.77s, 2. West Bengal 47.05, 3. Tamil Nadu 47.49; Hammer: 1. Manju Bala (Raj) 56.84, 2. Gunjan Singh (UP) 54.45, 3. Savitha (MP) 52.28; Triple jump: 1. Mayookha Johny (Ker) 13.58, 2. Sheena (Ker) 13.17, 3. Amitha Baby (Chg) 12.84.

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