Organising leaves a lot to be desired

The Kerala team which won the overall championship. — Pic. V. SREENIVASA MURTHY-Pic. V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

HOSTING a major meet in the districts has its own advantages and disadvantages. A meet that should have been a roaring success turned into a mediocre one at Shimoga, which played host to the 18th junior National athletics championship, at the compact Nehru Stadium.

The venue was a raging controversy recently, with a leading Government company making a hash of the specifications for laying the tracks. Despite laying and re-laying, what the enthusiasts and the athletes could see was a pitiable surface. The fact that the top layer lasted the full five days is a tribute to R. Rajavelu, technical official of the AAFI and joint secretary of the Karnataka Amateur Athletic Association (KAAA), and the groundsmen, who worked selflessly towards maintaining the same with constant watering.

The Shimoga District Amateur Athletic Association, with the guidance of former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa at the helm, raised funds to conduct three meets of this magnitude. It even provided cash incentives for the medal winners — newly introduced in the junior Nationals — but in the process, let a few things slip by, as far as the technical aspects were concerned.

The juniors had been doing well, thrusting Indian athletics to the front as was witnessed at both the Manchester Commonwealth Games and the Busan Asian Games. But this meet proved a let down, what with only two National records being bettered. That both came in the field events was only to be expected, given the track condition.

Mohammed Muddassir, the lanky sprinter from Karnataka was one to catch the eye. Having switched over to athletics from his football shoes only a year and a half ago, Muddassir, a Class XI student from Bangalore's Al Ameen College, blazed the tracks to win a sprint double in the boys' under-18 section. He equalled the meet record in the 100m with a 10.96 seconds finish and the acceleration that he managed at the bend in the 200m was praiseworthy.

Chitra K. Soman, the Kerala girl, on a contract with Tisco, Jamshedpur, and thus running in the Jharkhand colours, swept through the 100m, 200m and 400m for girls' under-20.

Tamil Nadu's A. Amudha made the jump event her own in the girls' under-18 category, winning the high jump, triple jump and the long jump golds with ease. Amudha, a B.A. Sociology student from M.O.P. Vaishnav College, had efforts of 1.61m in the high jump (previous best of 1.73m), 11.79m in triple jump (previous best of 12.20m), and 5.54m in the long jump, which was far from her own previous best. Chitra too did not impress with her timings but did enough to peg back the challenge to win the gold in her last year in the under-20s.

Andhra Pradesh's P. Shankar expectedly won a coveted treble. The youngster clinched the 400m hurdles gold — he had bagged the bronze in the same event, clocking 52.14 seconds in the Asian junior meet at Bangkok.

Shankar then added the 200m gold, pipping Karnataka's Vilas Nilgund and later won the 400m. Vilas had earlier won the 100m dash on the second day of the meet.

In fact, the athletes in the under-20 and the under-18 sections from Andhra Pradesh looked formidable in the one-lap event. K. Appa Rao and R. Bangaraiah made it a one-two finish in the 400m and the 800m for boys' under-18.

Pushpender Singh and Gurkirat Singh were the ones to better the National marks. Pushpender, the strong U.P. lad, exceeded even his coach Sahib Singh's expectations with a leap of 14.89 metres in the triple jump event for boys under-18, erasing Amarjit Singh's (Punjab) previous high of 14.80 metres set in Salem in 2000.

Gurkirat Singh went one better than Darshan Lal's six-year-old mark of 63.34 metres in the boys' under-18 javelin event. Gurkirat, the burly Punjab boy, hurled the javelin to a distance of 64.10 metres for the National mark, to provide the perfect finish to the competitions.

The results (all winners):

Boys: Under-20: 100m: Vilas Nilgund (Kar) 11.03s. 400m: P. Shankar (AP) 48.04s. 5000m: Pritham Buid (Utt) 15:26.8s. Long jump: R. Rajesh (Ker) 7.46m. Shot put: Pushpender (Del) 16.34m. 10km walk: Anil (Har) 44:56.4s. 110m hurdles: Manjunath B. Godi (Kar) 15.16s. 1500m: Ghamand Ram (Raj) 4:02.09s. 4x100m relay: Kerala 42.57s. 800m: Ghamand Ram (Raj) 1:55.43s. 400m hurdles: P. Shankar (AP) 52.75s (NMR). Triple jump: Sushanth Bangera (Mah) 15.09m. Discus throw: Samarjit (Pun) 52.75m. Decathlon: P. Riju (Ker) 5817 pts. 200m: P. Shankar (AP) 21.79s. 10000m: Pritam Nind (Utt) 32:09.6s. 3000m steeplechase: Vikas Singh (UP) 9:48.12s. High jump: Tamil Selvan (TN) 1.91m. Pole vault: Mahavir Singh (Goa) 4.30m. Hammer throw: Ashish Kumar Singh (UP) 60.93m. 4x400m relay: AP 3:22.13s.

Under-18: 100m: Mohammed Muddassir (Kar) 10.96s (EMR). 1500m: Bhim Rao Poojari (Kar) 4:10.32s. Pole vault: Digvijay (Har) 4.00m. Long jump: K. J. Clinton (Ker) 6.80m. Shot put: K. Sathishwaran (TN) 14.24m. 400m: K. Appa Rao (AP) 49.05s. 110m hurdles: S. Krishna Raju (AP) 14.99s. Triple jump: Pushpender Singh (UP) 14.89m (NR). Hammer throw: Sathishwaran (TN) 56.53m. Discus throw: Gurusharan Singh (Pun) 51.88m. 4x100m relay: Kerala 42.70s. 800m: K. Appa Rao (AP) 1:58.50s. 5000m: Kashinath Ashwale (Mah) 15:30.37s. 10km walk: Raj Kumar (Har) 47:23.8s. High jump: Rajesh (Har) 1.89m. 200m: Mohammed Muddassir (Kar) 22.31s. 2000m steeplechase: Ravinder Singh (Pun) 6:30.99s. Javelin throw: Gurkirat Singh (Pun) 64.10m (NMR). Heptathlon: K. Shankar (TN) 6034 pts. 4x400m relay: AP 3:22.19s.

Under-16: 100m: Budhuram Singh (Ori) 11.42s. 200m: P. Trinath (AP) 5:46.67s. Discus throw: Anil Kumar (Raj) 56.08m. Javelin throw: Anuj (UP) 59.50m. High jump: Freji Jose (Ker) 1.84m. 400m: N. P. Vinu (Ker) 50.58s. 100m hurdles: T. Harikrishna (AP) 13.66s. Long jump: Budhuram Singh (Ori) 6.99m (NMR). Shot put: Monish Kumar (UP) 14.21m. Hammer throw: Nahhed Khan (UP) 57.71m. 800m: P. Trinadh (AP) 1:59.80s. 5km walk: K. Johnson Singh (Mani) 22:50.7s. Pentathlon: L. Selvaraj (TN) 4061 pts. 4x100m relay: TN 44.34s.

Under-14: Triathlon: Group I: Depankar Roy (WB) 2458 pts. Group II: Narendra Verma (Mah) 2432 pts. Group III: Ramprasad Banchhor (Ori) 2761 pts.

Girls: Under-20: 100m: Chitra K. Soman (Jhar) 12.29s. 200m: Chitra K. Soman (Jhar) 25.32s. 1500m: Sinimol Paulsoe (Ker) 4:40.06s. High jump: Sumithra Naik (Ori) 1.60m. 400m: Chitra K. Soman (Jhar) 56.38s. 100m hurdles: Tucy Deshmukh (WB) 14.98s. 10km walk: Jyothi (Pun) 55:47.4s. Long jump: Tincy Philip (Ker) 5.50m. Discus throw: Nisha (Del) 37.25m. 4x100m relay: Kerala 48.63. 800m: Sinimol Paulose (Ker) 2:11.65s. 500m: Kamalesh (Bih) 18:38.4s. 10,000m: Mrunal Channe (Mah) 40:20.37s. 400m hurdles: K. J. Vijitha 1:01.54s. Pole vault: Priyanka Jose (Ker) 2.50m. Hammer throw: Suman Kumari (Har) 45.48m. 3000m: Kavitha Raut (Mah) 10:29.70s. Triple jump: V. S. Libiya (Ker) 12.22m. Shot put: Hardeep Kaur (Chand) 11.38m. Javelin throw: Nisha Attar Singh (Har) 39.09m. Heptathlon: Manju Paulose (Ker) 4878 pts (NMR). 4x400m relay: Karnakata 3:51.89s.

Under-18: 100m: Iyleen Samantha (AP) 12.39s. 1500m: Iqbal Kaur (Pun) 4:50.54s. High jump: A. Amudha (TN) 1.61m. Discus throw: Monica Joon (Del) 42.44m (NR). 5km walk: C. A. Manjusha (Ker) 27:27.00s. 400m: A. Vijila (Ker) 57.49s. 100m hurdles: A. K. Saranya (Ker) 15.31s. Triple jump: A. Amudha (TN) 11.79m. Shot put: Aplesh (Har) 11.50m (NMR). Javelin throw: S. Saraswati (TN) 39.34m. 4x100m relay: Kerala 49.07s. 800m: Pinki Pramanik (WB) 2:17.26s. Long jump: A. Amudha (TN) 5.54m. 200m: Iyleen Samantha (AP) 25.32s. 3000m: Jyothi Kolekar (Kar) 10:43.1s. Hammer throw: T. H. Chobi Devi (Mani) 39.00m. Heptathlon: Sharada Patil (Mah) 4015 pts. 4x400m relay: Kerala 3:56.02s.

Under-16: 100m: Sabina Khatun (WB) 13.10s. 2000m: Manpreet Kaur (Pun) 6:42.00s. Shot put: A. Anitcham (TN) 10.99m. 400m: Komal Tehlan (Har) 58.13s. 100m hurdles: C. T. Raji (Ker) 15.79s. High jump: Kavya Muthanna (Kar) 1.55m. 800m: Sangeeta Yadav (UP) 2:20.02s (NMR). Javelin throw: Kanti Suchita Ekka (Ori) 31.26m. 3km walk: Atinder Pal Kaur (Pun) 16:33.9s. Long jump: P. Lakshmi (TN) 5.37m. Discus throw: Indu Bala (Har) 39.04m. Pentathlon: Sabina Khatun (WB) 3013 pts (NMR). 4x100m relay: Kerala 50.09s.

Under-14: Triathlon: Group I: BiranganaThakur (WB) 1861 pts. Group II: Pallavi Sukumar (Kar) 1890 pts. Group III: Natasha Sagar (Kar) 2066 pts.

Team championships: Boys: Under-20: 1. Uttar Pradesh 82 pts, 2. Andhra Pradesh 59 pts, 3. Kerala 53 pts. Under-18: 1. Andhra Pradesh 60 pts, 2. Tamil Nadu and Kerala 59 pts.Under-16: Uttar Pradesh 49 pts, 2. Kerala 39 pts, 3. Tamil Nadu 38 pts. Overall: 1. UP 185 pts, 2. AP 152 pts, 3. Kerala 151 pts.

Girls: Under-20: 1. Kerala 108 pts, 2. Karnataka 78 pts, 3. Maharashtra 50 pts. Under-18: 1. Kerala 74 pts, 2. TN 64 pts, 3. Karnataka 52 pts. Under-16: Kerala 55 pts, 2. Karnataka 52 pts, 3. TN 43 pts.Overall: 1. Kerala 388 pts, 2. TN 288 pts, 3. Karnataka 268 pts.

Medals tally: (Read as gold, silver and bronze): Kerala 20-19-17; Tamil Nadu 13-12-25; Karnataka 11-15-11; AP 11-8-9; Haryana 9-8-3; West Bengal 9-7-5; Punjab 8-7-7; Maharashtra 6-11-7; Orissa 6-3-1; UP 5-16-11; 3-1-0; Jharkhand 3-1-3; Manipur 2-2-5; Uttaranchal 2-2-2; Rajasthan 1-1-1; Chandigarh 1-0-1; Goa 1-0-1; Assam 0-1-0; MP 0-0-3; Chattisgarh 0-0-1. — Avinash Nair