Image Credits: @AFI
Uttarakhand's Ankita Dhyani announced her arrival as a middle- and long-distance runner of immense potential by breaking Sunita Rani's National U20 Record in the women's 5000m on the opening day of the 36th National Junior Athletics Championships at the Sarusajai Stadium.
Having clocked 16:37.90 in winning the 5000m Federation Cup Junior U20 Athletics Championships in Bhopal on January 26, 18-year-old Ankita Dhyani improved her time to 16:21.19 to improve the National Record from 16:21.59 that Sunita Rani had set in the Summer Universiade at the Stadio Cibali in Catania, Italy on August 26, 1997.
Earlier, Pavana Nagaraj (Karnataka) and Mohur Mukherjee (West Bengal) battled intensely at the High Jump pit while Anurag Singh Kaler (Uttar Pradesh) and Nikhlesh (Haryana) locked horns at the Shot Put circle to rewrite U16 National Records.
Pavana Nagaraj claimed gold with a National U16 Record with a clearance of 1.73m, edging out Mohur Mukherjee before Anurag Singh Kaler, a 11th standard student from Kafurpur in Amroha district, dominated the Shot Put competition by lowering the National Record twice with his first two attempts over 19.23m and 20.16m.
Pavana's success on her third and final attempt at 1.73m helped her edge out the North 24 Parganas girl. Mohur Mukherjee cleared 1.69m and 1.71m on her first attempts while Pavana needed two tries to equal the National mark of 1.69m. The pair was not even born when the National U16 Record was pegged at 1.69m by Kavya Muthanna (Karnataka) in Kollam in 2003.
Daughter of National Record holder Sahana Kumari, Pavana Nagaraj drew from the reserves of her energy to clear the 1.73m to claim total ownership of the National U16 Record, but she has to thank Mohur Mukherjee, one year ger junior, for offering her stiff competition just as she had done in the under-14 category in the last edition in Guntur in 2019.
Vivek Kumar (Madhya Pradesh) won the boys under-18 Javelin Throw gold comfortably with a 72.83 effort on his last try. Each of his four legal throws sailed past the 70m mark. In the battle for silver, Utsav Tanwar (Rajasthan) came up with a best throw of 67.75m on his final attempt to edge past Uttar Pradesh's Izhar Ahmad by a mere 2cm.
As many as 1637 boys and girls in four age groups are competing in 145 events in the five-day National Junior Athletics Championships Coming from 32 States and Union Territories, they are together making the event the country's single largest sporting event since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year.
The results (all finals):
Girls 5000m: 1. Ankita Dhyani (Uttarakhand) 16:21.19 (New National and Meet records. Old National Record: 16:21.59, Sunita Rani, Catania, 1997; Old Meet record: 17:02.00, Sanjeevani Jadhav, Ranchi, 2015); 2. Chatru Gumnaram (Rajasthan) 16:54.59; 3. Rebi Pal (Uttar Pradesh) 17:34.39.
Long Jump: 1. Ancy Sojan (Kerala) 6.20m; 2. Manisha Merel (Odisha) 5.63; 3. Tanushree Porel (West Bengal) 5.60.
Boys Javelin Throw: 1. Vivek Kumar (Madhya Pradesh) 72.83m; 2. Utsav Tanwar (Rajasthan) 67.75; 3. Izhar Ahmad (Uttar Pradesh) 67.65.
Girls Long Jump: 1. Agasara Nandini (Telangana) 5.80m; 2. Lakshmi Gemmela (Andhra Pradesh) 1.38; 3. M Kayva Manoharan (Tamil Nadu) 5.33.
Boys Shot Put: 1. Anurag Singh Kaler (UttarPradesh) 20.16m (New National & Meet Records; Old: 18.05m, Adhish Ghildiyal, Guntur, 2017) 2. Nikhlesh (Haryana) 19.13; 3. Mohammed Mohsin Qureshi (Telangana) 16.36.
Discus throw: 1. Ram Narayan Maurya (Delhi) 53.17; 2. Raman (Haryana) 51.91; 3. Avadhut Kumar Patil (Maharashtra) 49.77.
Girls High Jump: 1. Pavana Nagaraj (Karnataka( 1.73m (New National and Meet Records. Old: 1.69m, Kavya Muthanna, Kollam, 2003); 2. Mohur Mukherjee (West Bengal) 1.71; 3. Bidisha Kundu (West Bengal) 1.63.
Long Jump: 1. Sabita Toppo (Odisha) 5.59m; 2. ES Sivapriya (Kerala) 5.45; 3. Neha Parvin (West Bengal) 5.42.
Shot Put: 1. Rubasri Krishnamoorthi (Tamil Nadu) 14.35m; 2. V Madhumitha (Tamil Nadu) 13.98; 3. Gurleen Kaur (Punjab) 13.71.
Boys Ball Throw: 1. Babulal Kumar Paswan (Jharkhand) 69.05m, 2. PKKP Vishnu (Kerala) 67.71; 3. CR Harish Kumar (Tamil Nadu) 66.70.