Did Amoj Jacob shatter an 11-year-old 400m junior national record with his impressive run in the Junior Nationals here on Saturday? Not at all. The talented Delhi youngster clocked a personal best 46.26s while winning the senior Federation Cup in Patiala in June. That should have been the under-20 national record, for Amoj is just 19. But that is not the case and the Athletic Federation of India’s (AFI) books for the Junior Nationals here showed Virender K. Pank’s 46.99s as the record.
Amoj’s time of 46.59s while winning the under-20 boys 400m on Saturday was not even a personal best and not a national record at all. It was just a meet record.
So how did this happen? Junior performances in senior meets — including the Olympics and World Championships — are considered for junior record purposes but strangely, the AFI does not think so.
That is why it does not revise its record books when juniors come up with record-breaking performances in senior meets.
Kerala’s Jisna Mathew is another classic case. The 18-year-old clocked a stunning 52.65s in the women’s 400m at the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi in May and it was among the world’s top ten in her age group then. It should have made her the junior national record holder but the record book here has Tamil Nadu’s K. Solaimathi’s 1995 time of 53s as the landmark.
So is the case with Kerala’s 16-year-old high jumper Gayathry Sivakumar who won the senior Inter-State Nationals in Guntur with a personal best 1.79m effort in July. That should have been the under-18 and under-20 national records. But the AFI has not revised these marks.
With internet and email, maintaining records is easier than what it was a decade ago. It remains to be seen whether the AFI raises its bar, like the athletes.
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