Inter-University Athletics Championship: Fighting bed worries back home, Jessan soars to a new high

A tattered pole vault bed at his academy back home proved to be no deterrence to K. G. Jessan as he set a meet record to clinch the pole vault gold.

K. G. Jessan broke the men's pole vault meet record in the National inter-university athletics championship at Mangalagiri, near Guntur, on Friday.   -  Stan Rayan

Every time K. G. Jessan attempted a big one at the Pala Jumps Academy back home in Kerala, he was filled with worry. That’s because the pole vault bed at the academy, at Pala near Kottayam, is in tatters, its air cushioning gone after eight years of rough use.

That bed and the man who began the pole vault academy more than two decades ago, K.P. Satheesh Kumar, have produced more than a hundred National gold medals, fetched young athletes decent Government jobs and made their life secure.

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Offered a new bed at the 78 National inter-university athletics championship at the Acharya Nagarjuna University here on Friday evening, Calicut’s Jessan hit a new high, bettering his personal best by 11cms and breaking the meet record. But he could not brush away the problems back home.

K. G. Jessan on his way to the men's pole vault meet record in the National inter-university athletics championship at Mangalagiri, near Guntur, on Friday.   -  Stan Rayan


“Sometimes, we nearly land on hard ground, we are very worried it could result in a serious injury one day,” said Jessan. “A few have broken their backs in recent months.”

Satheesh Kumar, a former inter-university record holder, is still waiting for the bed that was promised by the Kerala State Sports Council four months ago, so that his athletes can resume training with confidence.


Meanwhile, SP Pune University’s very confident Sanjivani Jhadhav celebrated her second gold here with a meet record and personal best, this time in the women’s 10,000m, an event where she is the World University Games silver medallist. She had won the 5000m comfortably a couple of days ago.

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And Periyar’s M. Loganayaki, who was returning after nearly a year’s layoff owing to injury, surprised herself by breaking the women’s 400m hurdles record.

The results (winners only):

Men: 10,000m: Ranjeeth Kumar Patel (Mangalore) 29:45.81s MR, OR 30:05.76. 400m hurdles: T. Santhosh Kumar (Mangalore) 52.10s. High jump: Geo Jose (MG, Ktm) 2.11m. Pole vault: K.G. Jessan (Calicut) 4.91m NR, OR 4.90. Shot put: Leeladhar Swami (Delhi) 17.12m. 20km race walk: Amanjot Singh (Punjabi, Pat.) 1:32.57s. 4x100m relay: Mangalore 40.83s, MR, OR 41.03. Decathlon: R. Suren (Bharathiar, Cbe) 6546 pts.

Women: 10,000m: Sanjivani Jadhav (SP Pune) 33:14.16s MR, OR own 34:06.91. 400m hurdles: M. Loganayaki (Periyar, Salem) 59.15s MR, OR 59.60. Long jump: Pushapanjali (Bharathiar, Cbe) 5.73m. Discus throw: Kirandeep Kaur (GNDU, Amritsar) 49.13s. 4x100m relay: Mahatma Gandhi, Ktm (46.64s).


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