She is a senior Asian championship bronze medallist and has been to the Senior Worlds but strangely, Jisna Mathew is not very welcome in her home State Kerala team.
That’s because the 18-year-old rarely competes in junior State meets, a rule that the Kerala Athletics Association often sticks to despite the young girl’s impressive credentials.
On Saturday, with anger and disappointment probably pushing her, Jisna broke the under-20 girls 400m meet record on her way to gold at the Coromandel 33rd National junior athletics championship at the Acharya Nagarjuna University stadium, Mangalagiri, near here.
And though her time, 53.52s, was not a personal best, it helped Jisna — who was running under the Athletics Federation of India’s banner — comfortably qualify (entry standard 55s) for next year’s under-20 Worlds in Tampere, Finland.
Read: Sapna qualifies for U20 Worlds
“Qualifying was never an issue but she would have clocked a much better time had there been somebody to push her,” said her coach P. T. Usha, the former Asian sprint queen. “And I strongly believe that she could win a medal at the under-20 Worlds.”
With Jisna also planning to run the 200m and a favourite for the gold there too, Kerala could be ruing its decision for not offering her a berth in the team for the race for the overall honours is now getting very tight.
Delhi’s Amoj Jacob, whose parents are from Kottayam in Kerala, had not such issues to trouble him. And running with a free head, the 19-year-old broke the 11-year-old under-20 boys national record. Though his time, 46.59s, was better than the under-20 Worlds standard, he will not be able to go to Finland as he will turn 20 next year.
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Suprisingly, Haryana’s third-placed Gaurav, an 18-year-old, made the cut for the Worlds, clocking 47.62s (entry standard 47.70s).
Another Delhi lad Nisar Ahmed, who hit the headlines for his outstanding performances in the recent State meet there and for his poor background, broke the under-16 boys national record by a huge margin, clocking 10.85s (old record 11.01).
Meanwhile, Kerala pole vaulter Nivya Antony and Haryana hammer thrower Poonam Jakhar bettered their own national records in the under-18 girls category while Haryana’s Anuj Samaj broke the under-18 boys decathlon record.
And Haryana’s Renu, who has former men’s national record holder Arpinder Singh’s coach S. S. Pannu as her trainer, broke the meet record in the under-18 girls triple jump.