H.H. Manikanta broke the men’s 100m National record with a fine performance in the 62nd National Open athletics championships at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday.
In the semifinal heats round, Manikanta seared past the finish line with a timing of 10.23s, erasing the previous mark set by Amiya Mallick (10.26s) in 2016. Odisha’s Mallick, incidentally, was in the heats alongside Manikanta on Wednesday, and finished fourth (10.58s).
Services’ Manikanta ran the perfect race, pulling away from the field early before finishing strongly. The 21-year-old stated that the National 100m record was something he always aspired for. “I felt that I could break the record in this event. However, I thought I would get the timing in the final, not the semifinal,” Manikanta told Sportstar.
He entered this competition with confidence, riding high on a 10.31s run to win the 100m gold in the Services athletics meet earlier this year. Manikanta hails from Udupi (Karnataka), and joined the Indian Army in 2020. He serves in the Indian Army as a Sepoy.
He further explained that he did not make any changes to his training routine before this event, and that the milestone was simply a product of hard work. “I’ve been consistently working hard in my training, and I’ve improved this year,” he said.
Manikanta is coached by T. Aboobacker, who won a silver medal with the 4x400m relay team at the 2006 Asian Games. He will next compete in the final round here on Thursday.
In the men’s 10,000m, Maharashtra’s Dinesh claimed gold with a timing of 29:10.11s. In the women’s 10,000m, Seema (33:26.90s) from Himachal Pradesh took top honours.
In the women’s hammer throw, All India Police Sports Control Board’s Anmol Kaur (60.19m) won gold. Dev Meena (5.05m) of Madhya Pradesh won the men’s pole vault.
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