A mediocre affair

THE 63rd edition of the All India Inter-Varsity athletic championship held at the Gulbarga University proved to be a mediocre affair.

In an event in which more than 100 universities participated, sending over 1200 athletes for various field and track events not a single athlete could produce anything extraordinary.

The Calicut University claimed the overall honours with 53 points, edging out holder Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, which could manage only 49 points. University of Delhi which claimed the men's overall championship with 27 points, finished third. Calicut finished second in the overall men's championship. In the women's section, Mahatma Gandhi raced away with the overall title notching up 43 points. Calicut took the runner-up position in the women's event too.

Except for the efforts of Vilas Neelgund of Bangalore, S. Geetha from Andhra, Ruta Patkar from Mumbai and Naveen Choudhary from Mahatma Jyotiba Phule University, Rohilkhund in Uttar Pradesh, nothing much could be said about the individual achievements of the athletes.

Lanky Neelgund exhibited his killer instinct and sudden burst of speed when it was required to outclass the field in both the 100 and 200 metres dash. Although Geetha — a 400m gold medal winner in the Junior Asiad athletic championship held at Bangkok in 2002 and a member of the gold medal winning 4 x 400 metre relay team in the Asian track and field event held at Colombo — emerged as the champion athlete in the women's section winning two golds (200 and 400m) and silver in 100m, her performance in the championship was below par and her timings in all the events were below her best.

Same was the case of Ruta Patkar, a bronze medallist in the Junior Asiad at Bangkok in the long jump. She managed to win the gold with a leap of 6.04m, which was below her best of 6.25m.

Kerala once again proved to be a powerhouse in the track and field events continuing its dominance with Calicut emerging as the new overall champion replacing Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. The four universities from Kerala — Calicut, Mahatma Gandhi, Kannur and Kerala — shared 31 medals out of the total 129.

The field events saw four new records. In javelin throw Gajendra Kumar of the Choudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, cleared 70m erasing the old record of 69.65m in the name of Ranjeet Mauriya of Purvanchal University established in 1999-00, while M.K. Prajisha of Mahatma Gandhi, in the women's section, hurled the javelin to a new distance of 47.29m, breaking the old record of 46.64m in the name of Suman Devi of VBS Purvanchal established last year. K.J. Clinton of the Kerala University leaped to a new distance of 7.44m in the long jump event to break the old record of 7.40m established by Manoj Thomas also of Kerala University in 1999-90. Birkaran Singh of the Punjabi University, Patiala, established a new record in the hammer throw event clearing a distance of 62.88m, eclipsing the old record of 62.61m in the name of Rakesh Kumar of Choudhary Charan Singh University established in 1999-00.

However no athlete came anywhere near to beating the oldest record in the track event in the name of Basant Singh of Punjabi University in the 400m hurdles, a 52.5 seconds effort established way back in 1977-78 or the 1992-93 record established in the women's high jump by Bobby Alosius of Calicut University clearing a height of 1.66m which was equalled by Saritha Patel of Shivaji University in 2000-01. The record in the name of Zenira Ayrtan of Mumbai University in the 100 and 200 — (11.6 secs and 24.00 secs respectively) also established in 1992-93 remained intact.

The results (all winners):

Men: 100m: Vilas Neelgund (Bangalore) 10.67 secs. 200m: Vilas Neelgund (Bangalore) 21.71 secs. 400m: Dharmender (Delhi) 49.01 secs. 800m: Ashok (Mangalore) 1:55.98 secs. 1500m: A. Srinivasan (Madras) 3:59.31 secs. 5000m: Naveen Chaudhary (MJP Rohilkhand) 14:57.62 secs. 10,000m: Naveen Chaudhary (MJP Rohilkhand) 31:11.37 secs. 110m hurdles: T. Muthusamy (Madras) 14.66 secs. 400m hurdles: Diljot Singh (Punjab) 53.55 secs. 20 km walk: Manoj (MDU, Rohtak) 1 hr. 36:34.06 secs. 4x100m Relay: Delhi 42.37 secs. 4x400m relay: Calicut 3:16.34 secs (NMR-Old record 3:16.7 secs). Long jump: K. J. Clinton (Kerala) 7.44 mts (NMR-Old record 7.40 mts). High jump: Vikul Kumar (CCSU, Meerut) 2.00 mts. Triple jump: B. Sushant (Mumbai) 15.22 mts. Pole vault: Pawan (MDU, Rohtak) 4.30 mts (equalled the old record of 4.30 mts). Shot put: Ranvijay Singh (VBS Purvanchal) 16.80 mts. Discus throw: Amardeep Singh (Punjabi) 51.64 mts. Javelin throw: Gajendra Kumar (CCSU Meerut) 70.00 mts (NMR-Old record 69.65 mts). Hammer throw: Birkaran Singh (Punjabi) 62.88 mts (NMR-Old record 62.61 mts). Half-Marathon: Navin Chaudhary (MJP Rohilkhand) 1 hr 06:49 secs. Decathlon: P. J. Vinodh (Kerala) 6679 points (NMR-Old record 6547 points).

Women: 100m: Rakhi Singh (Calcutta) 12.02 secs. 200m: S. Geetha (Andhra) 24.93 secs. 400m: S. Geetha (Andhra) 55.25 secs. 800m: Sinimol Paulose (Calicut) 2:11.91 secs. 1500m: Sinimol Paulose (Calicut) 4:41.03 secs. 5000m: Naginder Kaur (GNDU) 18:20.76 secs. 10000m: Sangeeta Hirehalli (Karnatak) 38:17.00 secs. 100m hurdles: K. N. Priya (Madras) 14.49 secs. 400m hurdles: Vijala (Calicut) 1:01.22 secs. 5 km walk: Raveena Antil (MDU Rohtak) 26:19.31 secs. 4x100m relay: Mahatma Gandhi 48:15 secs. 4x400m relay: Calicut 3:52.03 secs. Long jump: Ruta Patkar (Mumbai) 6.04 mts. High jump: A. Amudha (Madras) 1.64 mts. Triple jump: Shrhnas Sulaman (Mahatma Gandhi) 12.46 mts. Shot put: A. Saravani (Madras) 12.84 mts. Discuss: Meeli Sinha (Patna) 42.75 mts. Javelin: M. K. Prajisha (Mahatma Gandhi) 47.29 mts (NMR-Old record 46.64 mts). Hammer throw: Ritu (Delhi) 47.50 mts. Heptathlon: Georly George (Mahatma Gandhi) 4315 points. Half-Marathon: Sangeeta Hirehalli (Karnatak) 1 hr. 21:23 secs.

T. V. Sivanandan