Kerala had another field day as it continued with its excellent sequence of performances on the concluding day of the 59th National schools athletics meet at the Birsa Munda stadium in Ranchi on Sunday.
The side, surpassing its efforts over the last four days, finished with a tally of 12 gold medals on the final day including one in the girls’ under-19 cross country, which helped golden girl P.U. Chitra to her fourth individual title in the five-day championships.
Apart from Chitra, the other key performer for the State on Sunday was V.V. Jisha, who also finished with four gold medals including one in the senior girls’ 4x400m relay.
Starting off with a fine victory in the 400m hurdles in a time of 1:04.32 in the morning, the Parli HSS girl then strode to the 200m gold prior to joining Smruithimol Rajendran, Threse Joseph and Sandra Sathyan in helping Kerala to a fine win in the 1,600m relay. Jisha, on Thursday, had won the 400m gold.
Double for Suhail
The day also witnessed P.V. Suhail complete a golden double as he added the under-19 boys’ triple jump title to the long jump gold he won earlier with an effort of 14.88m.
A similar feat was also recorded in favour of the champion State by Rugma Udayan, who having won the girls’ under-17 long jump gold on Saturday, emerged victorious in the triple jump in the afternoon.
Jisna Mathew also finished with two individual gold medals, courtesy to her easy win in the girls’ under-17 200m, before taking a third gold by helping P.O. Sayana, Dibi Sebastian and Anjali Johnson who together guided Kerala to a record win in the 4x100m relay.
C. Babitha was another notable performer as she expectedly won the junior girls 800m clocking 2:14.03.
The corresponding race in the senior girls’ category saw Jessy Joseph, a protégé of P.T. Usha, establishing her credentials in fine fashion by returning home ahead of the field in 2:11.19.
Kerala, thanks to these efforts, retained the overall championships title with a haul of 38 gold, 28 silver and 16 bronze medals and a tally of 315 points, far ahead of second Haryana (11-9-5, 94) and Maharashtra which finished third with 9-8-11 and 84.5 points.