Shameermon and Reena hog limelight

The 22-year-old Reena, competing in the 100m race for the first time, put up a creditable performance to clinch the honours with a timing of 11.99s.

Reena George (No. 339), winning the women's 100m.   -  Nagara Gopal

On a day when there were no clear chances for any athlete to meet the qualifying mark for the Rio Olympics, Shameermon Na of Manipur and Reena George of Karnataka clinched the honours in the men’s and women’s 100m events respectively in the National inter-State athletics meet at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Reena, competing in the 100m race for the first time, put up a creditable performance to clinch the honours with a timing of 11.99 (the national record of 11.33 is held by Dutee Chand).

The Mysuru girl, who was more focussed on the 400m event earlier, was delighted with her showing. “I am immensely pleased with the effort as it came in my first attempt in the Senior Nationals,” she remarked later.

In the men’s 100m, Shameermon of Manipur, who is a Subedar in the Army, reached the Senior national final after a gap of three years and made it truly memorable, winning the gold with a timing of 10.60. His previous best was 10.46 in the 2010 Asian Grand Prix in Bengaluru.

In a close race, he edged out local favourite Abdul Najeeb Qureshi who settled for silver (10.63) much to the disappointment of the home team’s contingent which was lustily cheering him.

The 32-year-old Shameermon said later that he was only expecting to reach the final but not win the gold. “But for the rain, the timing could have been much better,” he remarked.

In women’s pole vault, Khyathi S. Vakharia, who trains in the U.S., won the gold with an effort of 3.80m. Coming back after a knee injury, the MBBS graduate said that she had to make some technical changes including take-off to emerge winner.

“To win a gold on your come back in the Senior National is a very special feeling. Yes, I need to keep improving with these minor technical changes and hope to come up with much better performances in the days to come after this morale-boosting win,” she remarked.

Though both Kiranbir Kaur of Punjab and M. K. Sinu Prakash came up with efforts of 3.40m, the former clinched the second place by virtue of lesser number of fouls.

The results:

Finals: Men: 20km: 1. Babhubhai Panocha (Guj) 1:31:26.00, 2. Sagar Joshi (Guj) 1:31:30.00, 3. Gaurav Kumar (Mnp) 1:31:39.00.

100m: 1. Shameermon Na (Mnp) 10.60, 2. Md. Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (Tel) 10.63, 3. Anirudha Gujar (Maha) 10.66.

110m hurdles: 1. D. Sreekanth (Ker) 14.54, 2. K. Prem Kumar (Tel) 14.60, 3. R. Akshay (Ker) 15.29.

Women: 100m: 1. Reena George (Kar) 11.99, 2. Archana (TN) 12.15, 3. Rucha Patil (Maha) 12.30.

Triple jump: 1. Shilpa Chacko (Ker) 13.22m, 2. Jenimol Joy (Guj) 12.97m, 3. Karthika (TN) 12.75m.

Pole vault: 1. Khyathi S. Vakharia (Kar) 3.80m, 2. Kiranbir Kaur (Pjb) 3.40m, 3. M. Sinju Prakash (Ker) 3.40m.