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28th National Junior Athletics Championships

Kerala recaptures overall championship

Lucknow, 31 October 2012

 As many seventeen national records were bettered besides 13 new meet records and one equalled during the five-day National Junior Athletics Championships which concluded at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College grounds here this after-noon.

 The final day’s competition on Wednesday saw three new national records.  Punjab girl Navjeet Kaur Dhillon got a ‘record double’ as she added the shot put gold to her win in discus throw earlier by tossing the newly introduced 3 kg iron ball to a distance of 14.89m.

 However the day belongs to quarter-miler Anjana Thamke of Maharashtra when the 15-year-old clocked an impressive 54.57 secs to eclipse M.R. Poovamma’s seven year old national and meet record of 55.43s.   It may noted that Anjana clocked faster than Anu Raghavan of Kerala, who took the junior women’s title in the same distance with a time of 55.29s, and hence expected to get a fillip in the near future in national squad. 

 Distance runner Rahul Kumar Pal, double gold medallist in this year’s Asian junior championships at Colombo, received tremendous support from local crowd as he represented Uttar Pradesh this time and went on to win his second gold in 10000m with a meet record time of 29:34.54, but barely missed the listed national junior mark of 29:32.68 set by Gojen Singh during the World junior championships at Sydney in 1996.  Suresh Kumar’s 28:59.98 in Guangzhou Asiad, two years ago, was the best by an Indian junior.  However the Indian federation following a practice of recognising junior records only if created in respective age-group meets.  Rahul earlier won the 5000m in a meet record 14:18.28.

 Another U.P. runner Poonam Singh also had the same distinction of winning “record double” in junior women’s category taking 5000m in a time of 17:22.87 to add her victory in 3000m earlier.

 Delhi boy  Shakti Solanki, holding the national mark in boys u-14 shot put event, established yet another record in u-16 category by heaving the 5 kg shot to 17.89m.

 The following athletes were adjudged as best athletes in their respective divisions with boys excelled in field events while the girls performed better on track races:

 Junior Men (u-20): Rajesh Kumar Bind of Uttar Pradesh (Javelin throw)

Youth Boys (u-18): Abhishek Singh of Uttar Pradesh (Javelin throw)

Boys under-16: Shakti Solanki of Delhi (Shot put)

Boys under-14: Saddam Hussain of Haryana (Shot put)

 Junior Women (u-20): Bebi Sumaya of Karnataka (200m)

Youth Girls (u-18): Dutee Chand of Jharkhand (200m)

Girls under-16: Anjana Thamke of Maharashtra (400m)

Girls under-14: Durga Deore of Maharashtra (600m)

 Kerala salvaged its pride as champion state by recaptured the overall title with 465 points and pushed last year’s winners Haryana to runners-up position in 422 pts, thanks to the overwhelming support their girl athletes.  Haryana however had the satisfaction of taking the boys’ crown ahead of hosts Uttar Pradesh.

 / Ram. Murali Krishnan /

Dileep shattered national decathlon record

Lucknow, 30 October 2012

 K. Dileep Kumar, representing Andhra Pradesh, became the first Indian junior to tabulate 7000 points in decathlon in the ongoing Junior Nationals at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College grounds here.  Dileep, training in the Army Sports Institute at Pune, finished in the all-round competition tallying 7020 points which erased the old mark of 6866 pts held by Brameshwar Nath of Bihar for the last twelve years.  

The penultimate day’s competition witnessed six new national records.  First being U.P. girl Nisha Yadav’s 54.39m in youth girls’ hammer throw in the morning.  The previous record-holder, Bhawana from Haryana, finished third today while Himachal Pradesh’s Deepa Kumari claimed the silver.

The 2000m steeplechase for girls have been introduced very recently and Kerala girl C.L. Aswathi won the junior women’s event in 7:33.87 while local girl Parul Chaudhary showed her experience to win the event in youth division in a much improved 7:06.49.

Tamil Nadu sprinter M.S. Arun takes the 200m dash for boys under-16 grade in a noteworthy 22.30 secs while Dutee Chand claimed the top honours in youth girls with a time of 24.31 secs after established herself the absolute owner of the national with her 24.28s effort in the heats earlier.

In between the Tamil Nadu boys team takes the 1000m sprint medley relay in u-16 division with a new national mark of 1:58.99.

Kerala had a profitable day today with their athletes secured six gold medals as they regain the lead in championship race with 409 points against arch rivals Haryana (345 pts).

/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /


Navjeet hurled the disc to new national youth record
Lucknow, 29 October 2012

Navjeet Kaur Dhillon is already a popular name among the young athletes around the discus throwing circle.  With a bronze medal from last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games already in her kitty, the Punjab girl had no second thought about winning the event and hence set her sights only on the record. There is always a dearth of talent in Punjab in discus throw. Athletes like Neelam J. Singh and Harwant Kaur dominated have dominated the scene for a long time.

When Navjeet stood on the throwing circle at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College on Monday morning she looked at the sprawling arena before her like an astronaut looking at the sky for a space mission.  A fine rotation set the momentum for spinning dynamics and the disc ejected from her hands like a flying saucer.  Finding its trajectory the disc landed at 49.54m, an awesome improvement to her previous best of 45.27m set in Douglas last year and for a new national youth record. As she graduating to junior division next year, Navjeet is expected to go beyond 50m very sooner like Seema Antil did at that age.

Almost five hours before Navjeet accomplished her mission, local lad Ankit Kumar fought with his neighbourhood Bhgwan S. Rawal from Uttarakhand on the pathway in walking race.  Exchanging their lead in every lap, the U.P. boy emerged winner in the 5000m distance in under-16 category clocking
22:17.15 which ceremoniously removed Manipur walker Lokendra Singh’s decade old mark from the books.  Rawal, finished yards behind him in 22:19.70, also improved the previous record of 22:48.2 while his teammate Sandeep Bind completes the podium in 22:49.25.

Hosts Uttar Pradesh also had another cheerful moment through Poonam Singh as she erased the meet record in junior women’s 3000m race with a time of 9:58.99.  Delhi boy Beant Singh accounted for another meet mark of the day with 1:25.15 clocking for 600m in under-14 division.

Haryana’s Sandeep Kumari retained her crown in junior women’s discus throw with 41.82m.  The same was the case with Maharashtra’s Ankita Gosavi in 100m hurdles in under-16 group.

Overnight leaders Kerala slipped to second spot again when defending champions Haryana once again climbed the ladder with 257 points, 11 points ahead of their rivals.

/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /

Satish walked his way to national record

Lucknow, 28 October 2012


 When Satish Kumar Patel finished fifth in last year’s Junior Nationals at Ranchi no one noticed him curiously.  But on Sunday morning Satish proved his mettle in front of his home crowd as he assaulted Vijay Gehlot’s 12-year-old national junior record in 10000m walk.  His winning effort was a noteworthy 41:29.85.  Three other athletes who finished behind Satish also bettered his U.P. senior Gehlot’s old record of 42:58.0. 

 Haryana’s National Inter-Zonal champion Neeraj finished second in 41:54.56.  Kapil Kumar from Maharashtra and Vinod S. Hugar of Karnataka, the silver and bronze medallists at Ranchi, have finished in sixth and eighth places respectively this morning.     

 However Haryana had some pleasant time on the field as their under-16 javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra made a giant improvement to the national best in his age-group with a throw recorded to 68,46m.  Teammate Mandeep Kumar (66.24m) made it 1-2 for Haryana.  U.P. lad Dharmender Kumar Patel held the previous mark of 62.14m since 2007. 

 In the youth boys’ 10,000m walk defending champion Kuldeep successfully retained his title but clocked only 44:06.28, slower than his meet and national record of 42:58.1 which he timed at Ranchi.  In the same age-group Maharashtrian Mandeep Goyat had similar feat as he improved the meet record for 800m run as he pips Delhi boy Lalit Mathur on the post 1:53:02 to 1:53:03.

 Other successful title defender was Kerala girl R. Anu in 400m hurdles. Her state-mate Jessy Joseph took the youth girls 800m race but missed Tintu Luka’s meet mark by a whisker.     

 Team Kerala led the points table at the end of second day with 186 points, closely followed by defending champions Haryana in 177 points.

 / Ram. Murali Krishnan /

Javelin throwers set the spear to record distance

Lucknow, 27 October 2012

 The opening day of 28th National Junior Athletics Championships virtually belongs to javelin throwers as they dominated the scene at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College grounds here with three national records.

 Rajesh Kumar Bind from the host-state Uttar Pradesh proved too good to his opponents as he started with 72.67m on his first try, an effort that could have been enough to fetch him the gold.  However he went on further with 74.69m on his second throw before fouled his third attempt.  His fourth throw was a massive 80.14m that improved his national junior mark of 74.75m which he established while winning the Junior Federation Cup at Pune earlier this summer and barely outside the senior national mark of 80.72m standing in the name of Anil Kumar Singh since 2008.  It is only a matter of time for Bind, the promising junior, to remove Anil’s name from record-books on his next appearance.      

 Like Bind, Haryana’s Kumari Sharmila and U.P. boy Abhishek also established new marks in javelin throw in the youth girls and boys sections respectively.

 Sharmila improved her own national mark in the youth girls’ javelin throw while successfully defends her title from the previous edition of Junior Nationals held in Ranchi.  She hurled the newly introduced 500 grams spear to a distance of 47.31m to improve her previous best of 47.09m created when winning the Youth Nationals at Bangalore this July.  

 Abhishek throw the implement to a new distance of 73.46m.

 The opening day also witnessed six meet records being bettered, five of them on track.  Rahul Kumar Pal (14:18.28 in 5000m) and Harish Koranga (3:54.35 in 1500m) in junior men and Jeris Jose (10.76 secs in 100m semis) in youth boys section accounted for new records.  Among the girls, M.K. Sinju Prakash (3.30m in pole vault) and Kerala 4x400m relay quartet (3:45.87) in junior women and Dutee Chand (11.93s in 100m heats) in youth girls section established new marks. 

 Tamil Nadu’s B. Karthikeyan defends his 100m title from Ranchi in boys’ under-16 age-group clocking 11.07 secs.  Kerala’s Jijin Vijayan (10.82) and   

Haryana girl Pinki (12.06) become fastest among junior men and junior women divisions.  Tamil Nadu’s Augustine Yesudas extends his winning-streak by taking the youth boys’ crown in 10.87s. Kerala’s Jeris Jose, in spite of his marvellous 10.76s in semi-finals, had beaten to second spot (10.90s) in the final. In the youngest under-14 group, Haryana’s Nuzrat romped home to victory in 11.43 secs.

 Dutee Chand, representing Jharkhand here, clinched the youth girls’ sprint title in 11.97 secs while Maharashtra’s Ankita Gosavi (12.58) and Siddhi Hiray (12.81) takes the honour for girls’ u-16 and u-14 categories respectively.

 / Ram. Murali Krishnan /

Lucknow, 24 October 2012

 Athletics competitions for juniors were conducted at the beginning for a single age-group.  Boys and girls under the age of 16 took part along with seniors at the nationals in the late fifties.  Initially there had been 14 events for the boys and 10 for girls contested in the composite national meets of those initial years.  However the introduction of multiple age-groups and the increased number of junior athletes taken part at the national level have prompted the Athletics Federation of India to introduce a separate Junior Nationals in 1986 at Hissar, Haryana.

 The 28th edition of the junior national athletics championships will be held at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, from October 27 to 31 this year.  Around 2,500 athletes from across the country are expected to take part in eight age-groups, four for boys and an equal number for the girls.  There will be 125 events to be contested in the five day meet at Athletics Stadium, Guru Gobind Singh Sports College, Lucknow.

 Athletes who excelled in the Lucknow meet will be selected for the national junior camps to be held later this year.

 / AFI /

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