Inter-State C’ships: Anjali qualifies for Worlds, again

In a performance as impressive and surprising as the last time she had made the cut, the 21-year-old Haryana girl beat her own mark with a timing of 51.53 seconds.

Haryana's Anjali Devi registered a personal best timing of 51.53 seconds to win the 400m race and qualify for the World Championships a second time. Photo: Uthra Ganesan

The 59th National Inter-State Athletics Championships finally had something to cheer, as Anjali won the 400m and qualifed for the World Championships here, for the second time. It was as impressive and surprising as the last time she had made the cut 11 months ago.

The 21-year old Haryana girl had clocked 51.79 seconds at the National Open meet at Bhubaneswar in September last to book her Doha ticket. On Thursday, she beat her own mark with a timing of 51.53 seconds to make the cut yet again.

Surprise entry

Having been off the radar for almost five months, Anjali was a surprise entry at the event. Interestingly, she had also skipped the state trials in June, that saw a NADA team present in Rohtak for the same.

“She told us she had to go for some Railways job selection trial the same day. We selected her on the basis of her past performances in the Indian Grand Prixs earlier this year even though she had been training on her own. We have no idea where she was all this while,” Haryana Athletics secretary Rajkumar Mittan told Sportstar.

Anjali’s performance, in fact, had been dipping drastically since the Bhubaneswar meet despite training in Turkey. Her timings in the four races she ran in 2019 before Thursday were 54.50 (IGP 1 in Feb), 55.98 (IGP 2 in March) and 55.93 and 56.40 (Fed Cup, March). Since then, she had been out of the national camp as well as off the circuit.

DAY TWO REPORT

“I came back from Turkey due to injury and was not fully fit at the Federation Cup. Since then, I have been under treatment with my personal doctor and training with coach Rohtas Siwach at home only. I am confident of going back to the national camp in Patiala after this,” Anjali said.

Her timing here also makes her a strong contender for the 4x400m relay side but the fact that she is not part of the national camp puts the onus on the AFI, which had ruled last year that only national campers would be considered for relay teams. Asked whether she would be re-inducted into the national camp, AFI Planning Committee chairman Lalit Bhanot remained non-committal. “We will see,” was all he was willing to say. Sources, however, said that the AFI was planning to hold a re-confirmation trial before the Doha meet and that her inclusion was unlikely.

Siddhanth Thingalaya breaks his own meet record

In the morning session, Siddhanth Thingalaya broke his own meet record with a 13.65 second dash in the 110m hurdles though the Worlds mark of 13.46s remains elusive. The women’s 100m heats saw Dutee Chand clock an average 11.45 seconds and better it to 11.35 in the semifinals to remain unchallenged as the fastest Indian woman on track.

The three relay event heats scheduled for the day were cancelled with direct finals on the last day of the competition instead.

Results (Day 3)
  • Men
  • 10,000m: 1. T. Gopi (Ker, 30:52.75), 2. Arjun Kumar (UP, 30:55.71), 3. Vikram Bangriya (Goa, 30:59.98); Discus Throw: 1. Behnam Shiri (Iri, 57.82m), 2. Kirpal Singh (Pun, 57.67m), 3. Gagandeep Singh (Pun, 54.47m); High Jump: 1. Sarvesh Kushare (Mah, 2.23m), 2. Geo (Ker, 2.21m), 3. B. Chethan (Kar, 2.19m).
  • Women
  • 400m: 1. Anjali (Har, 51.53s), 2. Saritaben Gayakwad (Guj, 52.96s), 3. Jisna Mathew (Ker, 53.08s); 10,000m: 1. Phoolan Pal (UP, 37:00.52), 2. Kavita Yadav (kar, 37:03.16), 3. Kiran Sahdev (Mah, 37:10.58); Triple Jump: 1. Bhairabi Roy (Ben, 13.01m), 2. Aishwarya (Kar, 12.85m), 3. Karthika Gothandapani (AP, 12.74m); Javelin throw: 1. Sharmila (Har, 54.58m), 2. Sanjana Choudhary (Raj, 50.71m), 3. Rashmi K (Kar, 50.66m); Pole Vault: 1. Krishna Rachan (Ker, 3.80m), 2. Nivya (Ker, 3.60m), 3. Sinju MK (Ker, 3.30m).