National Jr Athletics: Triple jumpers Kamalraj, Mani sparkle

Tamil Nadu’s K. Kamalraj produced a massive 16.41m which was the seventh best under-20 jump in the world. Mani Raj broke the under-18 boys national record to also qualify for the U-20 World Championships in Finland.

Tamil Nadu's K. Kamalraj's 16.41m in under-20 boys triple jump not only helped him qualify for next year's under-20 Worlds in Finland but also put him in the seventh spot in this year's world list in his age-group.   -  AFI

Just as his sporting career appeared set to go big, triple jumper Mani Raj suddenly felt a few hurdles come up before him. Dharmalingam and Vijayendran, the two coaches who mentored him at Karur’s Saraswathi Vidyalaya, moved away a year ago and there was none to guide him. And for the last few weeks, he felt a pull in his left leg while jumping.

Despite these problems, the 17-year-old Mani broke the under-18 boys national record at the 33rd National junior athletics championships at the Acharya Nagarjuna University ground, Mangalagiri, on Monday. The 15.83m jump also helped him qualify for next year’s under-20 Worlds in Finland (entry standard 15.60m).

A few hours later, there were fireworks again in the triple jump with Tamil Nadu’s K. Kamalraj producing a massive 16.41m effort in the under-20 boys category. That was the seventh best under-20 jump in the world this year and the 18-year-old from Tiruppur, who was coached by former international Nizamuddin earlier and now by Romanian Bedros Bedrosian, easily qualified for the under-20 Worlds.

“I felt I’d probably go past 16m but I didn’t expect this big one at all,” said Kamalraj.

Meanwhile, Delhi 15-year-old Nisar Ahmed who broke the under-16 boys 100m national record earlier, did the same in the 200m with a time (21.73s) that was nearly four-tenth of a second faster than the previous record.

Haryana (408 pts) walked away with the overall title, beating 22-time champion Kerala (400). Incidentally, Kerala star Jisna Mathew, who was running under the AFI banner here as she could not get a berth in her home team, won her second gold today. Those 14 points were sorely missed.

  • The results (gold medallists only):
  • BOYS
  • Under-20: 200m: Akash Kumar (UP) 21.28s MR, OR 21.35. 800m: Amoj Jacob (Del) 1:52.46s. 10,000m: Kisan Tadvi (Mah) 30.41.57. 400m hurdles: Prateek Pandey (UP) 52.98s. 3000m steeplechase: Bibin George (Ker) 9:28.22s. Triple jump: K. Kamalraj (TN) 16.41m. Javelin throw: Manjinder Singh (AFI-Pun) 66.72m. 4x400m relay: Haryana (3.11.03s) MR, OR 3:14.13.
  • Under-18: 200m: Akshay Nain (Del) 21.59s. 800m: Abhishek Mathew (Ker) 1:52.84. 3000m: Gurpreet (Haryana) 8.43.35s. 2000m steeplechase: Rajkumar (Del) 5:51.90s MR, 6:02.69. Triple jump: Mani Raj (TN) 15.83m NR, OR 15.63.
  • Under-16: 200m: Nisar Ahmed (Del) 21.73s NR, OR 22.11 (top four bettered record). 800m: Vaseem Tomar (UP) 1:56.47s.
  • GIRLS
  • Under-20: 200m: Jisna Mthew (AFI) 24.24s MR, OR 24.28. 800m: Abitha Mary Manuel (Ker) 2:08.90s. 3000m: K.M. Pooja (Har) 9.46.48. 3000m steeplechase: Khusboo Gupta (UP) 10:55.54s. Hammer throw: Manpreet Kaur (AFI Pun) 48.17m. 4x400m relay: Kerala 3.51.00s.
  • Under-18: 200m: Ancy Sojan (Ker) 24.75. 800m: Ankita Chahal (Delhi) 2:12.47s. 2000m steeplechase: Kajal Sharma (UP) 7:29.69s. Heptathlon: Sonika Jattan (Har) 4269 pts.
  • Under-16: 200m: J. Deepthi (Tel) 25.43s. 800m: Tai Bamhane (Mah) 2:13.62s. High jump: Khyati Mathur (UP) 1.63m. Pentathlon: Deepika (TN) 2713 pts.
  • CHAMPIONSHIPS
  • Overall: Haryana (408 pts). Boys: UP & Haryana (221 each). Girls: Kerala (230).
  • Best athletes: Boys: Under-20: K. Kamalraj (TN). Under-18: Dipender Dabas (Har). Under-16: Vikas Yadav (Mah). Long jump: Avinash Kumar (Bih).
  • Girls: Under-20: Jisna Mathew (AFI). Under-18: Rubina Yadav (Har), Under-16: Thabitha (TN). Under-14: Srusthi Shetty (Mah).