Army man Sarvesh Kushare gave a superb performance to rewrite the meet record with a jump of 2.24m and bag his maiden high jump gold at the elite level in the National Open athletics championships at the Kalinga Stadium on Wednesday.
Even as better known jumpers such as Siddharth Yadav and Chetan B. struggled to find their rhythm on a humid day, 22-year-old Kushare, who has been among the fringe jumpers so far, made a bright start to better the meet record of 2.23m set by V.S. Yadav last year in his very first attempt.
The Army havaldar tried to equal Tejaswin Shankar's National record of 2.29m but could not achieve the mark.
“I had trained well for the inter-services meet in Bangalore and the National Open meet. I did 2.22m in Bangalore and it set the right momentum for me. I was sure of getting past the meet record in Bhubaneswar,” said Kushare, coached by Vijender Ola at the RT Centre in Hyderabad.
Another lesser known athlete, Anjali Devi of Haryana, baffled all by creating a new meet record in women's 400m.
The 20-year-old clocked 51.79 to go past K.M. Beenamol's 16-year-old record of 51.90 and emerge triumphant by a good margin.
Surendhar J was delighted to corner glory as he achieved his personal best of 13.89 to claim the men's 110m hurdles title after a long lay off due to an ankle injury.
The strapping Chennai-based hurdler got a good lead over his competitors and remained in front for most part of the race.
“I was out of action for one-and-a-half years. I was looking forward to compete with Siddhant Thingalya but it was not to be. His presence would have encouraged me,” said 26-year-old Surendhar, whose previous best was 13.96.
Asian Games medallist Neena V. managed 6.37m, which was less than her bronze winning effort of 6.51m in Jakarta, but still took the gold medal in women's long jump.
P.U. Chitra, who had secured the Asiad bronze with a timing of 4:12.56, did 4:24.35 to win the women's 1500m crown.
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