The men’s triple jump field at the 37th National Games had a 17m man in Karthik Unnikrishnan and T. Selva Prabhu, last year’s World junior silver medallist with a personal best of 16.78m.
But A.B. Arun, who hails from Thiruvananthapuram, somehow felt very good as he warmed up for the final at the Bambolin Athletics Stadium here on Thursday. Eventually, the 24-year-old National Open champion walked away with the gold, bettering the Games record and his personal best.
“I was worried after an early foul but I’m happy I could get my best in the last jump,” said Arun, the Navy athlete who improved his personal best from last month’s 16.46m to 16.79m. Karthik, who has a personal best of 17.10m, took the silver (16.57m) while bronze medallist Selva finished a centimetre behind.
Srabani Nanda shocked Asian silver medallist Jyothi Yarraji to take the women’s 200m gold while Tamil Nadu’s Pradeep Senthil Kumar equalled his personal best to bag the men’s 800m gold, his first major title at the National level.
Pradeep broke away from the bunch in the second lap to win the title comfortably. “I did not feel very good initially, somehow there was a sort of burning sensation in the air, I was sweating a lot,” Pradeep told Sportstar. The athlete from Chennai took to sport as a long jumper and then moved to sprints before coming to the middle distance running.
In swimming, five of the day’s six events produced Games records. Srihari Nataraj (100m back), Virdhawal Khade (50m fly) and Nina Venkatesh (women’s 50m fly) bettered their own records.
In table tennis, West Bengal’s third-seeded Anirban Ghosh and Karnataka’s Archana Kamath won the men’s and women’s singles titles in one-sided finals.
Table tennis (singles finals)
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