With some of the country’s top quartermilers staying away from the national camp, there could be many vacancies in the Indian relay team for next year’s Asian Games and Commonwealth Games if the Athletics Federation of India goes ahead with its threat of stopping camp-duckers from selection meets.
Probably aware of the situation, a bunch of girls – in fact four of them – produced their personal best in the women’s 400m final of the 78th National inter-university athletics championship at the Acharya Nagarjuna University, Mangalagiri, on Wednesday evening. There was no surprise as Calicut’s Asian bronze medallist Jisna Mathew, P. T. Usha’s trainee and the country’s most promising quartermiler, won the gold comfortably but there was plenty of drama behind her.
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MG University’s V.K. Vismaya (53.67s) and Jerin Joseph (54.12), the silver and bronze medallists, along with GNDU’s Twinkle Choudhary (54.20) and Bharathiar’s R. Vithya (54.79) all came up with the run of their lives to make it a memorable day.
“I did not expect this time at all,” said Vismaya from Changanassery’s Assumption College. “And yes, I would like to be in the Indian relay team and run the Worlds and the Asians, if given a chance.”
Delhi’s Amoj Jacob, the junior national record holder who is already in the senior Indian 4x400m relay team, won the men’s 400m with a meet record (46.33s) with Mangalore’s Olympian A. Dharun, who lost a year through injury, announcing his return with a silver (47.81).
Mangalore’s V. K. Elakkiya Dasan, who had won the Inter-State National here in July, emerged as the fastest man with a meet record while Shivaji’s Chaitrali Gujar, the junior National champion, emerged as the fastest woman after MGU’s pre-race favourite Remya Rajan was disqualified for a false start.
Meanwhile, Sanjivani Jadhav bettered her own meet record in the women’s 5000m while Panjab’s Gagandeep Singh broke the seven-year-old men’s discus throw mark.
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