Youth Olympic Games: Praveen third in first stage, Ajai disappoints

Cuban Jordan Alejandro Diaz, the U-20 and U-18 World champion, produced a massive 17.14m effort to take the men’s triple jump first stage honours while Tamil Nadu’s C. Praveen raised hopes of a medal after finishing third in the Youth Olympic Games athletics events at Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Tamil Nadu triple jumper C. Praveen with his coach Indira Suresh. (File picture)   -  Special Arrangement

Cuban Jordan Alejandro Diaz, the U-20 and U-18 World champion, produced a massive 17.14m effort to take the men’s triple jump first stage honours while Tamil Nadu’s C. Praveen raised hopes of a medal after finishing third in the Youth Olympic Games athletics events at Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Diaz, the current U-18 world leader with 17.41m, used just two rounds but easily went past the Games’ record with his day’s best of 17.14m while Praveen who has a personal best of 16.22m which came at the Tamil Nadu State senior championships in Tirunelveli in June was third with 15.84m.

Competitions are being held in two stages and the performance of every athlete will be added together to determine the overall final placing.

Another Tamil Nadu athlete, Sreekiran Nandakumar who won the Youth Olympics’ Asian Area qualification meet in Bangkok in July in 1:50.93s, was ninth in the men’s 800m in 1:52.42s but there was a bit of disappointment in the men’s javelin throw with Punjab’s Ajai Raj Singh Rana, who was expected to win a medal as he has a personal best of 76.13m, taking the ninth spot in the first stage with 71.45m.

Meanwhile, Delhi sprinter Nisar Ahmed, who came up with some impressive timings last year, could not repeat the same as he finished 19th in the men’s 200m in 22.08s.

And Kerala’s Vishnu Priya Jayaprakasan was 11th in the women’s 400m hurdles in 1:02.56s.