South Zone junior athletics: 14 new meet records set 

03-10-2017

Nihal Joel clinches 400m title in a nail-biting finish

There was no shortage of excitement, with 55 finals scheduled, in the two-day 29th South Zone junior athletics meet at the Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium here on Monday.

The dark clouds, which had completely drenched the city on Sunday, moved away to provide bright sunshine and an ideal platform for the youngsters to showcase their skills.

The youngsters took advantage of the conditions and pushed themselves hard, and the end result was the birth of 14 new meet records.

The 400m, always seen as the most killer of any track-and-field meet, was as usual a nerve-wrecker across three sections — the junior women under-20, boys’ under-18 and junior men’s under-20 — before a rush of records came through. While R. Vithya (Tamil Nadu) romped home in the girls’ under-16 single-lap race to post 56.01s, the boys’ under-18 final saw a nail- biting finish.

It did take the recorders working on the photo-finish equipment to finally separate the runners. W. Nihal Joel was ahead with a new record of 48.32s, followed by B. Satish Kumar, T. Jeevan Kumar (both Tamil Nadu) and D. Srikanth (Telangana). All the other three were credited with timings better than the earlier mark of 48.66s.

The junior men (under-20) 400m final, too, was a close affair before Thomas Mathew (Kerala) switched gears in the home stretch and record a new time of 48.13s.

The 10,000m race, in the same section, saw Sherin Jose (Kerala) powering home to eclipse the existing record while teammate K.G. Jessan cleared an impressive height of 4.80m in pole vault.

The other Tamil Nadu girl who caught the eye was Sathya, who erased the meet mark in the girls’ under-18 category, clearing 3.50m.

The other record-breaker from that State was D. Gaurav Yadav in the 1500m (boys’ under-18), a category which also produced a new record holder in javelin thrower, D.P. Manu (Karnataka).

J. Deepthi (Telegana) and V.A. Shashikanth (Karnataka) also etched their names in the record books, winning the girls’ under-16 and boys under-16 100m.

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