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Kerala regains overall title in a close race

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GOLDEN LEAP: Tamil Nadu’s Nikhil Chittarasu won the high jump gold beating the record-holder A. Karthikeyan in Kochi on Friday.
GOLDEN LEAP: Tamil Nadu’s Nikhil Chittarasu won the high jump gold beating the record-holder A. Karthikeyan in Kochi on Friday.

Principal Correspondent

KOCHI: Despite winning the gold convincingly, Tamil Nadu high jumper Nikhil Chittarasu and triple jumper G. Gayathri were a picture of dejection and disappointment at the 21st South Zone junior athletics championship here on Friday.

In fact Nikhil had won the under-20 boys’ gold beating the record-holder A. Karthikeyan.

Nikhil and Gayathri were hoping to break the junior National records at the Maharaja’s Stadium here but failed miserably in their efforts.

Problem with run-up

“I was in such good form the last few days but messed up my run-up today, especially the last five steps. There were a lot of variations,” said the 19-year-old Nikhil who was planning to get past Hari Shankar Roy’s National record of 2.15m but could only manage a best of 2.11.

Gayathri won the gold with a 12.94m jump but since it was wind-aided, it was denied entry into the meet record books. Her next best, 12.78m which did not carry the wind advantage, will now be the new meet record, replacing Mayookha Johny’s 12.56m effort which came two years ago.

Gayathri, with a personal best of 13.10m, had been aiming for Mayookha’s junior national record of 13.11m here.

The race for the overall team title was close for a major part of the day but Kerala, which swept the under-20 mile relays at the end of the day, defeated Tamil Nadu by a six-gold margin (51-45) to regain the title.

The results (winners only): Boys: U-20: 200m: Kiran Kumar (TN) 22s; 1500m: S. Kuppusamy (TN) 4:03.7s; 5,000m: Pradeep Patel (Kar) 15:21.3s; 400m hurdles: Akhil Francis (AP) 53s (NMR, OR K. Srinivasa Rao, AP, 53.1, 1996); 4x400m relay: Kerala (V. Sajin, K.C. Rahul, Vikas Chandran, T.S. Anishkumar) 3:20.5s; High jump: C. Nikhil Chittarasu (TN) 2.11m; Pole vault: P. Bala Krishnan (TN) 4m; Shot put: A. Naresh (AP) 15.31m; Javelin throw: H. Michael Justin (TN) 57.16m; Hammer throw: Jijo James (Ker) 46.15m.

U-18: 200m: M. Jayaraman (TN) 22.5s; 1500m: T.S. Sunil (Ker) 4:11.6s; 400m hurdles: Lukmal Hakkim (Ker) 54.1s, (NMR, OR Jithin Paul, Ker, 54.4, 2007); 10,000m race walk: Emmanuel Sebastian (Ker) 55.28.4s; Pole vault: J. Preeth (TN) 4.20m (NMR, OR K.P. Bimin, Ker, 4.05m, 2006); Hammer throw: Sachin James (Ker) 56.15m.

U-16: 200m: A. Gokul Ravikumar (TN) 22.9s (equals meet record); 1500m: Ch. Yerram (AP) 4:15.4s; Hammer throw: G. John Thangaiah (TN) 39.8m; Pentathlon: K. Aneesh (Ker) 3358 pts.

Girls: U-20: 200m: Viji Vijayan (Ker) 25.5s; 1500m: Desty Sunny (Ker) 4:48.8s; 5000m: L. Suriya (TN) 17:45.4s (equals meet record); 400m hurdles: V.J. Sona (Ker) 1:04.6s; 4x400m relay: Kerala (Nimisha Jayaprakash, K.V. Albymol, Neethu Mathew, V.J. Sona) 3:57.6s; Triple jump: G. Gayathri (TN) 12.94m (wind-aided) (12.78 in earlier round NMR, OR Mayookha Johny, 12.56, 2007); High jump: V.G. Renukamol (Ker) 1.6m; Discus throw: K. Anitha Devi (AP) 38.48m; Heptathlon: Niksy Joseph (Ker) 4650 pts.

U-18: 200m: Nirupama Sunder Raj (Kar) 24.9s; 1500m: T.V. Priya (Ker) 4:56.3s; 400m hurdles: M. Arpitha (Kar) 1:08s; 5000m race walk: K.M. Meeshma (Ker) 28:25.2s; Triple jump: Joyline Mural Lobo (Kar) 12.54m; Discus throw: M.R. Gunasundari (TN) 36.93m (NMR, OR A. Anitcham, TN, 36.28, 2005); Heptathlon: S. Neelaveni (TN) 3785 pts.

U-16: 200m: M. Sushma (AP) 26s; 1500m: M.D. Thara (Ker) 4:49.3s (NMR, OR S.P.B. Poorvitha, TN, 4:51.5, 2008); Pentathlon: Aruna Jyothi (AP) 2445 pts.

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