Aishwarya brushes aside bitter memories with long jump gold

Parul wins steeple chase for her second gold at the 60th National Open Athletics Championship on Friday.

B. Aishwarya, the women's long jump winner, with her coach B.P. Aiyappa.   -  STAN RAYAN

Early last year, B. Aishwarya was writhing in pain. She had hurt her left knee badly and that required surgery. After surgery, the Bengaluru girl went to coach B.P. Aiyappa for rehabilitation.

The 24-year-old has now transformed impressively and on Friday, she won the long jump gold with a personal best 6.52m in the 60 National Open Athletics Championships at the Nehru Stadium here.

That was the best jump by an Indian woman in nearly four years and it improved her personal best by a massive 27cms.

“I had a good take-off in my first jump, the winning one. My next goal is to do 6.70m and try to focus on the Asian Games,” said the Railway athlete after her maiden National gold.

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But Aishwarya's favourite event is the triple jump.

“I was expecting her to jump somewhere between 6.40 and 6.60m in the long jump. She is an explosive jumper, she has improved on her speed and now she is able to convert her speed into her jumps well,” said Aiyappa.

“She has the triple jump tomorrow and I'm expecting something like 13.80m. And I won't be surprised even if she does 14m.”

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Meanwhile Tamil Nadu's Sherin Abdul Gafoor, the favourite for the long jump title with a personal best 6.32m, could manage only 6.27. “I did not get the board properly in any of my jumps,” said the 21-year-old.

On the track, Railway international Parul Chaudhary staved off a strong challenge from Maharashtra’s Komal Jagdale and clocked a personal best 9:51.01s – the fast time by an Indian in nearly three years – for the women’s 3000m steeplechase gold, her second yellow here. Komal also finished with a PB.

Maharashtra 19-year-old Tejas Ashok Shirse, who competed in the recent under-20 Worlds in Nairobi, made his senior national debut a memorable one by taking the 110m hurdles gold while Railway's C. Kanimozhi clocked a personal best 13.54s for women's sprint hurdles title.

Tejas Shirke.   -  AFI


Tamil Nadu, comprising T. Santhosh Kumar, Dhivya, Vithya Ramraj and P. Abimaniyu, broke the meet record while winning the 4x400m mixed relay gold which saw the fancied Railways being disqualified after the third-leg runner Kiran Pahal stepped inside the kerb while jostling for space on the inside with Delhi’s Pooja.

There was a national record too, by UP's Ram Baboo in the men's 35km race walk, a new event.

The results (finals):

Men: 3000m steeplechase: 1. Shankar Lal Swami (Ser) 8:46.05s; 2. Mohammed Nur Hasan (Ser) 8:50.00; 3. Balkishan (Ser) 8:50.45. 110m hurdles: 1. Tejas Ashok Shirse (Mah) 14.09s, 2. Sachin Binu (Ser) 14.22, 3. Tarundeep Singh (Ser) 14.22. High jump: 1. Jesse Sandesh (Rly) 2.17m, 2. Bharathi Vishwanathan (Ser) 2.17, 3. Sarvesh Anil Kushare (Ser) 2.17. Shot Put: 1. Karanveer Singh (Rly) 18.46m, 2. Devinder Singh (Pun) 18.02, 3. Vanam Sharma (Raj) 17.96. 35m Race walk: 1. Ram Baboo (UP) 2:46:31.00s NR, OR 2:49:12.00, Manish Singh Rawat, Ranchi, 2021; 2. Sagar Satishchandra Joshi (Guj) 2:53:43.00; 3. Surinder Singh (Pun) 2:54:22.00.

Women: 3000m Steeplechase: 1. Parul Chaudhary (Rly) 9:51.01s; 2. Komal Jagdale (Mah) 9:51.03; 3. Priti Lamba (Rly) 10:22.45. 100m hurdles: 1. C. Kanimozhi (Rly) 13.54s; 2. Aparna Roy (Ker) 13.58; 3. K. Nandhini (TN) 13.90. Long Jump: 1. B. Aishwarya (Rly) 6.62m; 2. Sherin Abdul Gafoor (TN) 6.27; 3. Priyanka Kerketta (Rly) 6.05. 35km race Walk: 1. Ramandeep Kaur (Pun) 3:15.17.00; 2. Sonal Sukhwal (Raj) 3:18:35.00; 3. Priyanka Patel (UP) 3:27:56.00.

Mixed 4x400m relay: 1. Tamil Nadu (T Santhosh Kumar, I.Dhivya, Vithya Ramaraj, P. Abhimanyu) 3:26.22s MR, OR 3:27.93, Delhi team, 2019); 2. Punjab 3:27.49; 3. Delhi 3:28.01.

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