Priya breaks 26-year-old record

KOCHI, DEC. 6. Just three years after shifting focus from high jump to the long jump, Kollam's P.K. Priya shattered a record that has been dogging some of the big guns of the State for 26 years.

The 16-year-old SAI trainee leaped past P. Mallika's 1978 record with a jump of 5.75m in the Kerala State schools athletic meet at the Nehru Stadium here on Monday. It was the oldest mark in the record books.

"Now, I can think of bigger goals. Well, the six metres next," said Priya, who is coached by Udaya Kumar at the Kollam SAI.

The long jump runway was loose and uneven. And in the fray was her district-mate and close friend A.P. Alka Chikli, who had represented the country in the Youth Worlds in Canada last year. But while Chilki suffered a series of fouls, Priya landed some of her best jumps.

In the end, while Priya walked away with the record and the senior girls sports division gold, Chikli took the general division gold with 5.45m which, however, was way below her best.

Idukki's Shameena Jabbar moved past the junior girls National schools 3,000m record with a fast finish in the morning. With her class-mate Sharlin Jose breaking the junior boys State record a few minutes earlier, the Vellayamkudy Jerome HSS student had much reason to celebrate.

Former Asian sprint queen P.T. Usha also had reason to cheer. Her academy girls, sprint hurdlers U. Jaseena, Vidya V. Nair and one-lappers M.S. Dharsana and Tintu Luka all won gold in the meet's opening day on Monday, the latter with a junior meet record.

The records: Boys, seniors: K.A. Harish (100 m hurdles, CKM, Korth., Ktm, 15.20 s, OR Kiran Prasad, Tsr, 15.50, 2001).

Juniors: Sharlin F. Jose (3,000m, Vellayamkudy JHSS, Idk, 8.58.50s, OR C. Hamsa, Pkd, 9:01.32m 1997).

Girls, seniors: P.K. Priya (Sports Division long jump, SAI-Klm, 5.75m, OR P. Mallika, Klm, 5.59m, 1978). Anitha Abraham (discus, AMHSS, Kalaketty, Ktm, 38.83 m, OR P.C. Girija, Sp Dn, Knr, 32.76, 1987). C.T. Raji (Sp. Dn 100m hurdles, SAI-LNCPE, Tvm, 15 m, OR Ponny George, CKM, Korth., 15,20 m, 2001).

Juniors: Shameena Jabbar (3,000m, Vellayamkudy JHSS, Idk, 10:05.80 s, OR S.R. Bindu, Tvm, 10:20.10 s, 1997 - Natl record 10:18.20); J. Saranya (shotput, Elappara PHS, Idk, 10.81m, OR Mini Augustin, Knr Sp Dn, 10.57, 1987). Tintu Luka (400m, GMHSS, Koyilandi, Koz-P.T.Usha Academy, 56.5 s, OR Seena Joy, Ekm, 57 s, 2001).

Sub-juniors: Dona K. Augustin (pole-vault, St George, Koth., Ekm, 2.45 m, OR Sithara Illath, Pala, 2.42 m).

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