Renjith, Jinson and Dharambir qualify for Rio

Even as the focus was all along on the relay teams — the men’s and women’s 4x400m teams’ qualification was confirmed earlier in the day, both in 13th place among 16 elite nations — the individual athletes’ performance was no doubt the icing on the cake.

Renjith Maheswary leapt to an astounding 17.30m, shattering Arpinder Singh’s national record of 17.17m set in 2014.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The trio of Renjith Maheswary (triple jump), Jinson Johnson (800m) and Dharambir Singh (200m) made it a memorable day for the country at the fourth Shriram Properties Indian Grand Prix here on Monday by making the cut for the Rio Olympics.

Even as the focus was all along on the relay teams — the men’s and women’s 4x400m teams’ qualification was confirmed earlier in the day, both in 13th place among 16 elite nations — the individual athletes’ performance was no doubt the icing on the cake.

As a result, the athletics contingent has swelled from a record 24-member squad before the meet to a much higher 39, with each relay team accommodating a maximum of six athletes.

Athlete of the evening

Renjith’s performance was perhaps the highlight of the evening. After recording 16.55m and 16.75m in his first two attempts, he breached the Rio standard of 16.85m on his third attempt with a jump measuring 16.93m. Not satisfied, he leapt an astounding 17.30m on his fourth, shattering Arpinder Singh’s national record of 17.17m set in 2014.

Not to be left behind, Dharambir ran a 20.45-second 200m race to become the first Indian in more than three decades to qualify in the sprint event after Perumal Subramaniam in the 1980 Moscow games. The Haryana sprinter’s timing was 0.05s inside the cut-off.

Redemption

For 25-year-old Jinson it was redemption of sorts, especially after coming close at the inter-state meet in Hyderabad last month, where he clocked 1:46.43s against a required 1:46.00s, and then failing to obtain a visa to compete in a meet in Belgium on Saturday.

His 1:45.98s here was his personal best and only 0.21s shy of Sriram Singh’s four-decade long record set at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

But for long-jumper V. Neena it was a second day of disappointment as she fell short by an agonising 0.04m. Even as she bettered Sunday's performance — a wind-assisted 6.57m — by recording 6.66m, it was still not enough.

The women’s 4x100m relay team, of which much was expected, failed to come good again, timing only 44.50s to Sunday’s 44.32s, and thus went out of the reckoning for a Rio berth.

The results (Indians unless specified) Men: 200m: 1. Dharambir Singh, 20.45s (wind speed +1.0) NR (OR: Dharambir, 20.66s, Wuhan, 2015) 2. Hassan Saaid (Maldives), 20.75s, 3. Vidya Sagar, 21.44s; 400m: 1. Arokia Rajiv, 46.24s, 2. Kunhu Mohammed, 46.24s, 3. A. Dharun, 46.67s; 800m: 1. Jinson Johnson, 1:45.98s, 2. Ajay Kumar Sooraj, 1:50.21s, 3. Bharath, 1:53.43s; 400m hurdles: 1. A. Dharun, 50.51s, 2. Jithin Paul, 50.53s, 3. Paul Joseph, 57.74s.; Triple jump: 1. Renjith Maheswary, 17.30m (+1.8) NR (OR: Arpinder Singh, 17.17m, Lucknow 2014), 2. Rakesh Babu, 16.26m (+1.9), 3. U. Karthik, 16.12m (+1.0); Shot put: 1. Inderjeet Singh, 19.66m, 2. Om Prakash, 19.59m, 3. Tajinderpal Toor, 18.37m; Discus: 1. Kirpal Singh, 59.76m, 2. Dharam Raj Yadav, 54.38m, 3. Baljinder Singh, 54.13m; Javelin: 1. Devinder Singh, 80.21m, 2. Samarjith Singh, 73.76m, 3. Ajay Kumar Punia, 73.71m; 4x400m: 1. India 'A', (Kunhumuhammed, Lalit Mathur, Jithin Paul, Sumit Kumar), 3:08:69s, 2. India 'B' (Harsh Kumar, Amoj Jacob, Kiran Murugan, Pankaj Mallik), 3:12.45s, 3. Sri Lanka, 3:14.90s.

Women: 200m: 1. Reena George, 24.20s (+1.0), 2. Nithyashree, 24.25s; 400m: 1. M.R. Poovamma, 52.85s, 2. Anilda Thomas, 53.14s, 3. Jisna Mathew, 53.87s; 800m: 1. Gomathi, 2:08.11s, 2. Harmilan Baris, 2:17.42s, 3. Kamalazi Upashi, 2:27.88s; High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari, 1.82m, 2. Ankitha, 1.60m, 3. Shivani, 1.60m; Long jump: 1. V. Neena, 6.66m (+0.7), 2. N.V. Sheena, 5.16m (+1.5), 3. P.K. Tejaswi, 4.89m (+0.4); Shot put: 1. Manpreet Kaur Jr, 16.23m, 2. Navajeeth Kaur, 14.92m; Javelin: 1. Annu Rani, 59.20m, 2. Rashmi Shetty, 51.93m, 3. Kannika, 33.37m; 4x100m: India 'A' (Merlin Joseph, H.M. Jyothi, Srabani Nanda, Dutee Chand), 44.50s, 2. Srilanka, 47.17m, 3. Maldives, 51.40s; 4x400m: 1. India 'A' (Nirmala Sheoran, Tintu Luka, M.R. Poovamma, Jisna Mathew), 3:32.01s, 2. India 'C' (Santosh Kumari, Sini Jose, Jauna Murmu, Soundarya), 3:34.39s, 3. India 'B' (Debashree Majumdar, Ashwini Akkunji, Priyanka Panwar, Anu Raghavan), 3:34.41s.