Federation Cup: Lili Das enters record books

Lili Das of West Bengal smashed the women’s 1,500m record by close to seven seconds on the opening day of the 14th junior Federation Cup National athletics championship at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old led from the outset and increased her lead with every passing lap to break Haryana’s Pinki Kumari’s previously-held record (4:27.26s. Chennai, 2014).   -  K. Murali Kumar

Lili Das of West Bengal smashed the women’s 1,500m record by close to seven seconds on the opening day of the 14th junior Federation Cup National athletics championship at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old led from the outset and increased her lead with every passing lap to break Haryana’s Pinki Kumari’s previously-held record (4:27.26s. Chennai, 2014).

A measure of how hard the effort was could be seen when she collapsed on to the floor past the finish line and had to be helped off the track. Even the flashing of the victory sign, an otherwise joyous occasion, seemed like a herculean task. With the win, she has now cleared the World Junior Championship qualifying mark of 4:28.20s.

“Fantastic performance,” said Kalyan Chaudhuri, her coach at the Sports Authority of India facility in Kolkata. “She had earlier clocked 4:16 in practice. But doing this time at such an altitude and showing such endurance is great.”

“She hails from a poor family of jute workers and has had a troubled childhood. But last year she won in the Junior Nationals. Last September she came third in the Open Nationals. She has got a job with Eastern Railways. Once she turns 18, she will take it up.”

In the day’s other events, Priyanka Kerkei of Jharkhand put on an impressive show, winning the girls’ long jump with a mark of 5.99m. In the two 100m sprints, C.H. Sudhakar of Telengana in the boys’ section and Siddhi Hiray of Maharashtra in the girls’ section notched up comfortable wins.

Elsewhere, in the women’s 5000m race, Himachal Pradesh’s Sindhu, who came first, was stripped of her medal after she was found to have flouted the age rule.

The results:

Boys: 100m: 1. C.H. Sudhakar (Teg), 10.74s; 2. Chirag (Har), 10.81s; 3. Joseph Joe (Ker), 10.82s;

1,500m: 1. Manjeet Singh (Man), 3:57.45s; 2. Dinesh Lathwal (Har), 3:57.88s; 3. Yogesh (Mah), 3:58.95s;

5,000m: 1. Gavit Murli (Guj), 14:44.90s; 2. Kisan Tadvi (Mah), 14:46.16s; 3. Abhishek Pal (Asm), 14:47.84s;

Shot put: 1. Ashish Bhalothia (Har), 17.41m; 2. Ram Chandra (UP), 16.44m; 3. Udit Kumar Pratap (UP), 16.30m.

Girls: 100m: 1. Siddhi Hiray (Mah), 12.19s; 2. Rajashree Prasad (WB), 12.40s; 3. Sweta Hake (Mah), 12.48s;

1,500m: 1. Lili Das (WB), 4:20.31s (NR, OR: Pinki Kumari (Har), 4:27.26s, 2014); 2. Harmilan Kaur (Pun), 4:28.05s; 3. Durga (Mah), 4:38.12s;

5000m: Jothi (TN), 17:53.62s; 2. Sudha Pal (UP), 17:59.78s; 3. Kavita Yadav (UP), 18:26.91s;

Long jump: 1. Priyanka Kerketta (Jha), 5.99m; 2. Soma Karmakar (WB), 5.76m; 3. B. Aishwarya (Kar), 5.60m;

Javelin: 1. Pushpa Jakhar (Har), 47.73m; 2. Runjun Pegu (Asa), 42.22m; 3. Priyanka (Har), 41.47m.

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