Gone with the wind.
That is what happened to Jeswin Aldrin’s exceptional second jump at the Calicut University Stadium on day two of the Federation Cup athletics on a sweltering Sunday afternoon. The distance he cleared – 8.37m -- was more than any man did anywhere in the world in the long jump this year; it should have been good enough to qualify him for the World championship and make him the new National record holder.
But as it turned out, the 20-year-old’s jump was assisted by the wind (+4.1m/s) to an extent more than what is allowed (+2.0m/s). Still, the event – it is increasingly becoming the most exciting one in Indian athletics – produced a new National record.
Quite expectedly, it was M. Sreeshankar who did it, with a jump of 8.36m (+1.5m/s) on his third attempt, as the Kerala athlete erased his own record of 8.26m, set last year. He qualified for the World championship too. As did Jeswin, on account of his fourth attempt of 8.26m.
Sreeshankar’s teammate Muhammed Anees took the bronze with a jump of 8.06m on his third attempt after fouling the first two. Thus three Indian men cleared 8m at the same meet, which is indeed quite remarkable.
Another athlete to meet the qualifying mark for the World championship was Mahararashtra’s Aishwarya Mishra, from the women’s 400m. She clocked 51.18s, which is also a new meet record, improving Nirmala Sheoran’s 51.28, set in 2017.
The second day also saw the comeback man Jinson Johnson taking the bronze in the 1,500m in front of his home crowd, behind Ajay Kumar Saroj of Uttar Pradesh and Rahul of Delhi.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu’s B. Siva Kumar and Odisha’s Dutee Chand emerged as the meet’s fastest man and woman, respectively, as they sprinted to glory in the 100m finals.
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