AthleticsPTI

Youngsters shine on day 2 of Federation Cup; Sreeshankar betters his national record

KOZHIKODE: Tamil Nadu’s Jeswin Aldrin beat Tokyo Olympian M Sreeshankar of Kerala to the long jump gold with a huge wind-aided effort of 8.37m in a dramatic contest on the second day of Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships here on Sunday, but his performance will be of no consequence for record purposes.

Aldrin cleared 8.37m in his second attempt but the tail wind speed measured on the wind gauge was + 4.1m/s, well above the legal limit of + 2m/s. He cannot be denied a gold but surely he will be denied the national record.

Aldrin, however, qualified for the World Championships in Eugene, USA, in July on the basis of his legal jump of 8.26m in his fourth attempt. The World Championships qualification standard is 8.22m.

Sreeshankar, who jumped 8.36m in his third attempt with a valid wind speed of +1.5 m/s to win a silver, broke his own national record of 8.26m. The Kerala jumper also qualified for the World Championships.

Sreeshankar’s 8.36m jump is also the world leading effort though it is early season.

“Jeswin Aldrin’s 8.37m performance was not a legal one and so will not be counted for record purposes and for any qualification. But his 8.26m effort (in his fourth attempt) was legal and so he has also qualified for the World Championships,” Indian athletics chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair told PTI.

“Sreeshankar’s 8.36m will be the new national record (if ratified) as it was a legal one, though he did not win a gold.”

The long jump final will go down in Indian athletics history as one of the best as nine jumps were over 8m, though two of them were wind-aided above legal limits.

Another Kerala jumper Muhammed Anees Yahiya, already a member of 8m club, produced another wind-assisted (+2.3 m/s) 8.06m effort to win the bronze.

It was no surprise that Aldrin would win the gold as he was second among world season leaders before Sunday with his 8.20m during the Indian Grand Prix last month. On Sunday, he produced a series of 8.01, 8.37, 8.14, 8.26, X, 8.16.

Sreeshankar had three jumps beyond 8m while the remaining three attempts were fouls as his series read 8.16, X, 8.36, X, 8.07, X.

The exciting battle at the long jump pit stole the thunder from Aishwarya Mishra’s gold-winning effort in women’s 400m. The Maharashtra athlete brought everyone to the edge of their seats with a sensational 400m sprint in 51.18 seconds, the fifth best time by an Indian woman.

Scorching the track from the start, she ran a race of her own. She became the country’s three fastest woman quarter mile runner. Only Hima Das (NR, 50.79) — three times in 2018 — and Manjeet Kaur (51.05) — once in 2004 — have run quicker than Aishwarya.

These two performances meant that B Siva Kumar (Tamil Nadu) and Dutee Chand (Odisha), who claimed the titles of the fastest man and woman respectively, had to settle for less of the limelight on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Siva Kumar, who clocked a personal best time of 10.37 seconds, was identified as the winner only after the photo finish equipment gave him an edge of four-thousandths of a second over Tamil Nadu team-mate Elakkiadasan.

Dutee Chand (11.49 sec) returned to winning ways after suffering defeats in the Federation Cup and National Inter-State Championships last year.

There were impressive victories for Ajay Kumar Saroj (Uttar Pradesh) and Lili Das (West Bengal) in the men and women’s 1500m races.

Earlier in the day, Andhra Pradesh’s Jyothi Yarraji clocked 13.43 seconds to top 100m Hurdles heats in a new meet record time, improving on Anuradha Biswal’s 13.48 seconds effort in New Delhi 16 years ago.

The Results (finals):

Men: 100m: 1. B Siva Kumar (Tamil Nadu) 10.37 seconds; 2. V K Elakkiadasan (Tamil Nadu) 10.37; 3. Harjit Singh (Punjab) 10.43.

400m: 1. Rajesh Ramesh (Tamil Nadu) 46.45 seconds; 2. Akash Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) 46.57; 3. Noah Nirmal Tom (Kerala) 46.81.

1500m: 1. Ajay Kumar Saroj (Uttar Pradesh) 3:42.36; 2. Rahul (Delhi) 3:42.40; 3. Jinson Johnson (Kerala) 3;43.48.

Long Jump: 1. Jeswin Aldrin (Tamil Nadu) 8.37m (+4.1 m/s wind-assisted); 2. M Sreeshankar (Kerala) 8.36; 3. Muhammed Anees Yahiya (Kerala) 8.06.

Javelin Throw: 1. Rohit Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) 81.83m; 2. P Manu (Karnataka) 79.17; 3. Sahil Silwal (Haryana) 73.35.

Decathlon: 1. Sourabh Rathi (Uttar Pradesh) 6643 points; 2. Boota Singh (Haryana) 6619; 3. Mohit (Haryana) 6613.

Women: 100m: 1. Dutee Chand (Odisha) 11.49; 2. MV Jilna (Kerala) 11.63; 3. NS Simi (Karnataka) 11.71.

400m: 1. Aishwarya Kailash Mishra (Maharashtra) 51.18 seconds (New Meet Record. Old: 51.28, Nirmala Sheoran, Patiala, 2017); 2. MR Poovamma (Karnataka) 52.70; 3. Dandi Jyotika Sri (Andhra Pradesh) 53.90.

1500m: 1. Lili Das (West Bengal) 4:15.46; 2, Ankita Dhyani (Uttarakhand) 4:16.07; 3. Chanda (Delhi) 4:16.41.

Shot Put: 1. Abha Khatua (Maharashtra) 16.75m; 2. Manpreet Kaur (Punjab) 16.21; 3. Kachnar Chaudhary (Rajasthan) 14.95.

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