National junior athletics championships: Sreeshankar leaps to Finland

UP’s Kiran Baliyan also made the cut for the Worlds with a 14.54m effort (qualification mark 14.50m) while winning the under-20 girls shot put gold, while Akash Kumar booked his Finland berth while clocking 21.26 (entry 21.35) in the under-20 boys 200m semifinal.

Kerala long jumper M. Sreeshankar, who qualified for next year's under-20 Worlds in the National junior athletics championship, at Mangalagiri, Guntur, on Sunday.   -  Special Arrangement

An MBBS seat goes for more than Rs 1 crore these days but Kerala’s M. Sreeshankar turned down one he got through the sports quota recently. He wanted to focus on the long jump and hence took up civil engineering which he felt offered him more time for sport.

The 18-year-old, who is returning after a hamstring injury-forced break, sailed to a 7.72m leap with his opener in the 33rd Coromandel National junior athletics championships at the Acharya Nagarjuna University, Mangalagiri on Sunday. That brought him a ticket to next year’s under-20 Worlds in Finland (entry standard 7.55m) and also a meet record.

Sreeshankar, from Palakkad, played it safe after the big one. He had a 7.54 and a foul in his next two efforts and then gave up his last three chances as the others could not come anywhere near him.

“We thought he would go to eight metres, but he is just coming back from an injury, we did not want him to push too hard,” said his father Murali, a former international who is also his coach.

KIRAN, AKASH ALSO QUALIFY

UP’s Kiran Baliyan also made the cut for the Worlds with a 14.54m effort (qual. mark 14.50m) while winning the under-20 girls shot put gold while Akash Kumar, also from UP, booked his Finland berth while clocking 21.26 (entry 21.35) in the under-20 boys 200m semifinal.

The under-16 boys’ 200m final is set for a hot finish with both the semifinal winners, Delhi’s Nisar Ahmed (22.03s) and Haryana’s Kapil (22.02) bettering the national record (22.11).

The results

Boys: Under-20: Long Jump: M. Sreeshankar (Ker) 7.72m MR, OR 7.57. Pole vault: K.G. Jessan (Ker) 4.70m. Hammer Throw: Miraj Ali (UP) 63.67m. 4x100m relay: Kerala (41.55s). 

Under-18: 400m hurdles: Anandhu Vijayan (Ker) 53.33s. Pole vault: Parshant Singh Kanhiya (Har) 4.75m NR, OR 4.72. 1000m sprint relay: Karnataka (1.55.21s).

Under-16: Shot put: Adish Ghildiyal (Utr) 18.05m NR, OR 17.91. Discus throw: Vaibhav Choudhary (UP) 48.73m. 1000m sprint medley relay: Haryana (1.56.95s) MR, OR 1:57.09.

Under-14: High jump: Vijay Malik (Har) 1.93m NR, OR 1.92.

Girls: Under-20: 400m hurdles: P.O. Sayana (Ker) 1.01.13s. Long jump: Priyanka Kerketta (Jha) 6.18m. High Jump: Rekha (Har) 1.74m MR, OR 1.73 (2. Laimwn Narzary, 1.74, BMR). Shot put: Kiran Baliyan (Uttar Pradesh) 14.54m. Discus throw: Seema (Haryana) 45.34m. Heptathlon: Madhu (Har) 4303 pts. 4x100m relay: Kerala (47.72s).

Under-18: 3000m: Seema (HP) 9:50.54s NR, OR 9:56.25. 400m hurdles: J. Vishnupriya J (Ker) 1.02.47s. Triple jump: Lizbeth Karoline Joseph (Ker) 12.35m. Discus throw: Asha Rani (Har) 42.39m. 1000m sprint relay: Tamil Nadu (2.13.75s).

Under-16: 1000m sprint medley relay: Kerala (2.17.64s).