Tintu the toast of the day; Shejil sets a new mark

SURGING AHEAD: Shejil Varghese of Calicut University broke the men’s 400m hurdles record in Kochi on Tuesday.

SURGING AHEAD: Shejil Varghese of Calicut University broke the men’s 400m hurdles record in Kochi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Vipin Chandran

Principal Correspondent

Shejil had finished third last year

Deepankumar won the triple jump gold

KOCHI: There had been a complete ban on television and newspapers for Tintu Luka the last couple of days in Kochi.

“A lot of things, almost all of them negative, had been said about Tintu’s disqualification (after two foul starts) in the 400m the other day,” said her coach P. T. Usha.

“I didn’t want them to upset her, to make her lose focus, so I blanked out the TV and the newspapers. The 800m is her event and I wanted her to give it her best shot,” Usha added.

Tintu did just that in the women’s two-lapper in the 69th all-India inter-university athletics championship at the Maharaja’s Stadium here on Tuesday.

In record time

With a dominating front-running style, the 19-year-old from Calicut University broke the nine-year-old record of the host Mahatma Gandhi University’s M. K. Rekha by more than four seconds.

“Everything went as per plan,” said Tintu, the junior national record holder.

Not the first lap though. “At her best, she has run the first lap in 59.3s. Today it was 61,” said Usha who trains Tintu at her School of Athletics. “However, she made up by running her fastest-ever second lap.”

As the runners entered the second lap, it was Tintu, Anu Mariam Jose — who had pulled off the championship’s biggest upset by winning the 400m on Monday — and defending champion S. R. Bindu in that order. Though Anu pushed up a gear on the home stretch, Tintu replied with a faster one.

Soon after the race, there were many calls for Usha. “Did you see how beautifully Tintu ran,” answered Usha. Shejil Varghese, also from Calicut University, broke the day’s other record. The young man, from Thrissur’s St. Thomas College, had hit the final hurdle last year at Chidambaram and finished with the bronze.

The 20-year-old who broke the two-year-old record of University-mate Avin A. Thomas by clocking 52.12s.

Madras University’s V. Deepankumar won the men’s triple jump in a thrilling contest with a final round effort of 15.47m.

He had led the pack with an opening round of 15.44m but when Abhishek Ratkaur came up with a similar effort in the last round, Deepankumar pulled out his best.

The results: Men: 800m: 1. Sudheer Kumar (Rajasthan, Jaipur) 1:52.71s, 2. P. K. Patnaik (Utkal, Bhubhaneswar) 1:53.27, 3. P. Karuppanan (Madurai Kamaraj, Madurai) 1:54; 400m hurdles: 1. Shejil Varghes (Calicut) 52.12s NMR (OR Avin A. Thomas, Calicut, 52.45, 2006), 2. T. Balamurugan (Madras) 52.47, 3. Vikramjeet (Kurukshetra) 52.65.

4x100m relay: 1. Mahatma Gandhi, Kottayam (Jiby Peter, Dibin Eldhose, M. T. Joseph, Santhosh Theven) 41.35s, 2. Mangalore (41.71), 3. Annmalai (42.03); 20,000m walk: 1. Manipal Patil (CSIM, Kanpur) 1:36.17s, 2. Y. Khamba Singh (Manipur) 1:36.56, 3. Manjit Singh (Punjabi, Patiala) 1:37.30.

Triple jump: 1. V. Deepankumar (Madras) 15.47m, 2. Abhishek Ratkaur (Veer Kunwar Singh Uni., Bihar) 15.44, 3. Manoj Kumar (Punjab, Chandigarh) 15.25m; Hammer throw: 1. Sunil Poonia (Rajasthan, Jaipur) 57.92m, 2. Chamkaur Singh (Punjabi, Patiala) 57.44, 3. Bhopender (Rajasthan) 53.54.

Women: 800m: 1. Tintu Luka (Calicut) 2:05.41s NMR (OR M. K. Rekha, MGU, 2:09.74, 1999), 2. Anu Mariam Jose (Kannur) 2:07.69 BMR, 3. S. R. Bindu (Mahatma Gandhi, Ktm) 2:09.27 BMR; 400m hurdles: 1. Sibitha P. Sebastian (Kerala, Tvm) 1:00.86s, 2. Leena Cherian (Mahatma Gandhi, Kottayam) 1:01.04, 3. V. J. Sona (Kannur) 1:01.78; 4x100m relay: 1. Calicut (Merlin K. Joseph, Ambili Thomas, S. Sini, V. Chandini) 47.2s, 2. Mahatma Gandhi, Kottayam (47.35), 3. Kerala (47.82); Shot put: 1. Neelam (Kurukshetra) 13.50m, 2. Anitcham (Anna, Chennai) 12.98, 3. J. Saranya (Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram) 12.59.

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