There were some stand-out performances in the three-day 12th junior (u-20) Federation Cup athletics meet, which concluded at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
C.K. Valson, Secretary, Athletics Federation of India, praised the athletes for putting up an excellent show despite the oppressive heat. “Nearly 25 of them have made the grade for the Asian meet in Taiwan in June this year and 10 have made the grade for the Worlds in Eugene, USA in August. It is a good sign,” he said.
The Hindu reviews some of the best action:
Dutee Chand: The 18-year-old from Odisha made it a no-contest in the 100m and 200m, winning the gold medal ahead of arch rival S. Archana.
She ran the 100m in a time of 11.63s, pipping Tamil Nadu’s Archana by 0.51 seconds. Then, on the last day of the meet, she clinched the 200m title clocking an impressive 23.75s, beating Archana for the second time in two days, this time by 0.75 seconds.
Her feat in the 200m also equalled the 17-year-old National record of former Tamil Nadu sprinter V. Pandeswari.
Navjeet Kaur Dhillon: Navjeet made her parents — father Jaspal Singh Dhillon was an international athlete and mother Kuldeep Kaur an international hockey player — proud with a dominant display in girls’ shot put and discus events.
The 17-year-old from Punjab threw the iron ball to a distance of 15.89m and later heaved the discus 53.97m, a good 10m more than second-placed Anushi Desai of Maharashtra. She qualified for the Asian and Worlds in both disciplines.
“I am confident of a medal in the Asian and Worlds,” said Dhillon.
Sachin Dalal: Training in Madina, a nondescript village in Rohtak district with ‘no facilities’, Sachin did exceptionally well in the boys’ discus throw.
The 17-year-old from Haryana was excited when his 58.11m fetched him a gold, a New National record and a spot in the Asian and World meets. The 17-year-old proudly said that there was ‘little competition’ and he was right in saying so.
Sumit Chaudhary: After his fourth attempt, triple jumper Sumit of Rajasthan picked up the sand from the pit and threw it into the air, knowing pretty well that his leap of 15.34m would be a gold medal finish.
There were cheers from the stands including his coach Amrit Pal Singh, himself a National record holder in long jump. A handball player who made the shift to triple jump hardly 18 months back, the transformation was quick.
“My parents have always encouraged me, told me to do what I like and follow success,” said Sumit.
Dipika: A talented athlete, Tamil Nadu’s Dipika ran a wonderful 100m hurdles race to emerge triumphant in a time of 14.19s ahead of Meghana Shetty of Karnataka.
Though Dipika made the Asian grade, she was deemed ineligible as she was born in ’94. According to the Athletics Federation of India, only those born in or after 1995 are eligible. Meghana (born in ’96) qualified for the Asian meet with a time of 14.28s.