D.P. Manu lived up to his top billing by creating a new meet record in men’s javelin with a best throw of 81.23m at the 61st National Open athletics championships at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Tuesday.
It was nowhere close to his personal best (84.35m) but with less-than-ideal preparation – he wasn’t allowed to practise at the venue ahead of the competition – and under wet conditions, the Services athlete hailing from Belur, Karnataka, showed his worth yet again.
Neeraj Chopra’s National record (89.94m) was practically out of bounds. But there were challenges in the form of Rohit Yadav, finalist at the World Championships who had a season best effort of 82.54m, and Sahil Silwal, the defending Open champion with a personal best throw of 80.65m.
However, Manu’s opening salvo was an impressive 80.32m, taking him past Ravinder Singh Khaira’s previous meet record of 79.04m set in 2016. The 22-year-old bettered it with 80.50m off his third throw before finishing with a high of 81.23m.
Rohit could only come up with a 79.80m heave to take silver, while Sahil Silwal finished sixth.
“It has been two or three meets since I threw more than 81. So, I am very happy,” said Manu. “I was targeting around 78m for the opening throw, but I got into a good rhythm and continued. I could have done 82 or 83. But happy with 81.”
Elsewhere, there was controversy in women’s high jump where Abhinaya S. Shetty, the eventual gold-medallist at 1.78m, had seemingly cleared a height of 1.82m, only for the officials to invalidate it.
At first, the judge had raised the white flag to declare it legal, but the bar fell after that. Abhinaya protested, but the authorities were unmoved.
Men: 800m: 1. Krishan Kumar (Ser) 1:48.80s, 2. Abhishek Singh Thakur (MP) 1:48.82, 3. Prakash Balu Gadade (Ser) 1:48.98; High jump: 1. Sarvesh Anil Kushare (Ser) 2.18m, 2. Jesse Sandesh (Rly) 2.10m, 3. Chethan Balasubramanya (Ser) 2.05; Discus: 1. Kirpal Singh (ONGC) 58.15, 2. Parshant Malik (Har) 55.10, 3. Nirbhay Singh (Har) 54.88; Javelin: 1. D.P. Manu (Ser) 81.23 (NMR; OR: 79.04, Ravinder Singh Khaira, 2016), 2. Rohit Yadav (Rly) 79.80, 3. Kishore Kumar Jena (Odi) 78.05.
Women: 800m: 1. Chanda (Rly) 2:02.49s, 2. Pooja (Rly) 2:05.92, 3. Twinkle (Rly) 2:06.44; High jump: 1. Abhinaya S. Shetty (Rly) 1.78m, 2. Kevinaa Ashwine Annavi (TN) 1.76, 3. Rubina Yadav (Rly) 1.74; Triple jump: 1. Poorva Hitesh Sawant (Mah) 13.18, 2. N.V. Sheena (Ker) 13.07, 3. Karthika Gothandapani (Rly) 13.00; Javelin: 1. Shilpa Rani (Har) 55.18, 2. K. Rashmi (Rly) 51.52, 3. Karishma S. Sanil (Kar) 51.39.
Mixed relay: 4x400m: 1. Karnataka 3:21.53s (NMR; OR: 3:36.22, Tamil Nadu, 2021), 2. Railways 3:21.66; 3. Tamil Nadu 3:21.74.