KOLKATA: On a cloudy but humid day, the age-group athletes excelled on the second day of the four-day 59th State athletics meet at the Salt Lake Stadium and SAI, Eastern Centre.
Four of the five records fell in the under-20 category while the fifth was established in the under-18 group. Interestingly, four records were set in field events and one on the track.
Mondal’s smooth run
The worn out Salt Lake Stadium track failed to deter the emerging talent of Sukhendu Mondal who hacked the field with a smooth run in the boys’ under-20 200m.
Sukhendu, from a nondescript South 24 Parganas village, has been in the limelight having represented India at junior international level.
His time of 21.8 seconds upstaged the 22.2s set by Sheikh Samseer of Hooghly in 2000 which was later equalled by Rahamatulla Mollah of South 24 Parganas in 2005.
Short and stout with a never-say-die spirit, Sharmila De set a meet mark in the girls’ under-20 age group shot put event with a heave of 12.65m on her third attempt.
She bested Chaitali Dey’s (N-24 Par) record of 12.45m set in 1992. Later, Pinky Dey of Durgapur broke Sharmila’s under-18 shot put record (11.96m set in 2007) with her only legal throw. She touched 12.34m for the gold medal.
Tapas Mandal of Malda heaved the discus to 38.77m to erase the record of 35.39m set by Ujjal K. Das of Howrah last year. Rajib Khetri of South 24 Parganas came second with 36.03.
For the 19-year-old Papiya Khatun of Pioneer SA, the gold medal and the record ought to have come at the right time.
The triple jumper in the girls’ under-20 category used to cycle 40 minutes to reach her practice venue daily. Her hard work finally paid off when she touched 12.27m for the final record of the day.
The previous mark of 12.07 was listed in the name of Kalpana Das of Eastern Railway set in 1998. — Special Correspondent