Sprinters Amlan Borgohain and Jyothi Yarraji are expected to be among the few star attractions at the 61st National Open Athletics Championships, which gets underway at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru on Saturday.
Owing to the short turnaround time after the National Games, Open Athletics will not feature the likes of long-jumpers M. Sreeshankar and Jeswin Aldrin. The triple jump trio of Eldhose Paul, Abdulla Aboobacker and Praveen Chithravel will also miss the event.
Amlan won the 100m and 200m titles at the recently concluded National Games in Gujarat, and holds the National Record in both. Yarraji was crowned the best in 100m and 100m hurdles and can look forward to another showdown against the likes of Hima Das and Olympian Srabani Nanda.
Javelin champion D.P. Manu and race walker Ram Baboo, who created a new National Record over 35km in Gandhinagar, are the other athletes to watch out for. Also in the entry list is shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor, the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist, who is on a comeback trail after missing both the World Championship and Commonwealth Games because of a groin injury.
Schedule for October 16 (finals)
Men’s pole vault - 5.00 PM IST
Men’s 100m - 6.00 PM IST
Women’s 100m - 6.15 PM IST
Women’s 400m - 8.45 PM IST
Men’s 400m - 7.00 PM IST
Men’s long jump - 7.10 PM IST
Men’s shot put - 7.20 PM IST
Men’s 1500m - 8.00 PM IST
Women’s 1500m - 8.15 PM IST
Women’s 800m heptathlon - 8.30 PM IST
Where to watch the live streaming of National Open Athletics Championships 2022?
What happened on Day 1 ?
Tamil Nadu’s Rosy Meena Paulraj broke the women’s pole vault National record for the second time in a fortnight, this time scaling 4.21m at the 61st National Open athletics championships at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
At the National Games in Gandhinagar, Rosy Meena had erased V.S. Surekha’s record (4.15m) with a mark of 4:20m . On Saturday, she first vaulted to a height of 4.10m to seal the gold, relegating the Railways duo of Pavithra Venkatesh and Baranica Elangovan to second and third.
The 25-year-old then touched 4.16m to rewrite Surekha’s meet record (4.15m) set in 2014, before bettering her own mark from two weeks ago.
“The last time I came here for Khelo India, I didn’t do well. So, I was determined for give a good performance,” said Rosy Meena. “I am not entirely satisfied with 4.21m. The aim is to scale 4.30m, the Asian Games norm. That’s what I will be working towards.”
The competition started under the blazing afternoon sun but the notoriously fickle Bengaluru weather meant dark rain clouds soon replaced blue and white patches and a cool wind started blowing across the stadium.
Rosy Meena struggled with her run-up all along and even had to use layers of the analgesic balm Amrutanjan to keep herself warm. But egged on by a sparse but enthusiastic crowd, and the quiet backing of her fascinatingly named coach Milber Bertrand Russell – christened after the great British mathematician and philosopher – Rosy Meena nailed 4.21m on her first try at the record.
She then had three failed bids at 4.25m, but it was an icing she didn’t quite require. So high has her stock risen in the last 15 days that the Tamil Nadu government – according to Milber – is pushing hard to retain her services, even as she looked set to move to the Railways for a secure job.
Elsewhere, Jyothi Yarraji, the National Games 100m champion, didn’t finish her heat, choosing to focus on 100m hurdles, her pet event. Amlan Borgohain, the men’s 100m champion, reportedly pulled out on the eve of the competition.
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