Nayana James pips Ancy Sojan in battle for IGP4 long jump crown

Two young javelin throwers, Yashvir Singh (Rajasthan) and Rohit Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) went past the 80m mark.

File image of Kerala long jumper Nayana James.   -  Thulasi Kakkat

Nayana James produced two efforts over 6.37m to win the high-profile women's long jump title in the Indian Grand Prix 4 Athletics Meet at the Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.

Ancy Sojan, who led after the first two rounds with 6.29m efforts and the fourth round with a 6.35m leap, finished second ahead of World U20 silver medallist Shaili Singh. The Uttar Pradesh teenager, who trains in Bengaluru, came with a best effort of 6.27m in her first meet since the U20 World Athletics Championships in Nairobi in August last year.

The 26-year-old Nayana had a fouled jump and 5.99m on her first two efforts but took the lead in the third round with a 6.30m leap, 1cm more than Ancy Sojan's two best jumps until then.

After Ancy Sojan responded with a 6.35m effort in the fourth round, Nayana James leapt 6.37m twice to seal the title while her 21-year-old team-mate fouled her last two jumps.

From the home fans' point of view, Amiya Kumar Mallick and Aryan Ekka's 1-2 in the men's 100m sprint was pleasing. The Odisha sprinters drew confidence from one another in the second of the four races in the dash. Maharashtra's Karan Vivek Hegiste was the best of the other sprinters to take the bronze medal.

Two young javelin throwers, Yashvir Singh (Rajasthan) and Rohit Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) went past the 80m mark.

Yashvir Singh wrested the spotlight with a winning effort of 82.13m. The 20-year-old thus became only the 12th Indian to send the spear over 80m.

The Rajasthan thrower became the third javelin thrower from the country after DP Manu (Karnataka) and Rohit Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) to join the 80m Club this year. Yashvir Singh, who missed the mark by a whisker in Patiala on March 17 last year, got his ahead of Rohit Yadav and Manu on Tuesday night to win gold.

The men's long jump did not have as much drama as the women's event since each of Muhammed Anees Yahiya’s four legal jumps on Tuesday night was good enough to fetch him gold. The Kerala jumper peaked with his two of his last three tries, crossing the 8.00m mark. The 8.15m effort on his fifth attempt was the best of the night.

From the home fans' point of view, Amiya Kumar Mallick and Aryan Ekka's 1-2 in the men's 100m sprint as well as Srabani Nanda's victory in the women's 100m were pleasing. The two Odisha men drew from one another in the second of the four races. Srabani Nanda, running her first 100m in around a year, had to find her own pace to win in 11.87 seconds.

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