Javelin Thrower Annu Rani rewrites National Record to give Federation Cup great start

AFI Media

Patiala, March 15: Javelin Thrower Annu Rani’s single-minded determination to produce a throw in excess of the Olympic qualification standard of 64.00m led her to rewriting her own National Record with a 63.24m effort on the opening day of the 24th Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports complex here on Monday.

The 27-year-old World No. 12 came up with a standout performance, with three throws beyond 61m, and she led Uttar Pradesh to a three-gold show in four finals. The ball was set rolling by Savita Pal, 21, who made her debut in a 10000m race a memorable one by sprinting past Sanjvani Jadhav (Maharashtra). Shot putter Kiran Baliyan accounted for Uttar Pradesh’s third gold with a 16.45m effort.

The consistent Annu Rani did not belie expectations on Monday. She opened with a throw of 61.45m and backed it up with another over 61.03m. Having warmed up to the task, she then uncorked a throw over 63.24m that was an improvement of 81 centimeters on the National Record that she set in the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.

Muhammad Anas Yahiya (Kerala) showed his form by topping the men’s 400m qualification for the final with a 46.26-second run. His pace helped Haryana’s Ayush Dabas make it to the final as one of the two fastest non-automatic qualifiers. Arokia Rajiv (Tamil Nadu) was another who won his semifinal heats in 46.84 and enabled Jashanjot Singh to make the final grace.

Earlier, Amoj Jacob cantered to stop the clock in his heats in 47.80 seconds. With P Naganathan also clocking a sub-47, the men’s 400m final promises quite some fireworks. There is no doubt that each of the eight finalists will put his best foot forward in what can become the most talked about men’s final on Tuesday.

The seasoned MR Poovamma led the eight qualifiers into the women’s 400m final, powering to victory in 54.34 seconds, the second fastest time this season. Eager to show that she is India’s premier quarter-miler, the 29-year-old ran a fine race in the opening heats, winning by over 2-1/2 seconds.

Aishwarya Kailash Mishra (Maharashtra), who won the second of the three semifinal heats, dipped home in 55.05 seconds. The Haryana trio of 20-year-old Kiran Pahal, 18-year-old Deepanshi and Nancy, 21, and Tamil Nadu’s Subha Venkatesan, also 21, all came home inside 56.15 seconds to raise visions of a bright future for the women’s 400m.

Tamil Nadu’s S Dhanalakshmi warmed the hearts of sprint fans with a fine race in the women’s 100m semifinals. She threw down the gauntlet for Dutee Chand (Odisha) with a 11.38-second 100m sprint that stunned viewers just as much as it would have her State-mate Archana Suseendran, who was second in that heat in 11.66 seconds.

Taking to the track after Assam’s Hima Das won her heats in 11.63 seconds, Dutee Chand clocked 11.51 without straining every sinew. Featuring the three sprinters, there is no doubt that the final will spark excitement and great expectations of being a spectacle.

In the afternoon, Gurindervir Singh (Punjab) set a personal best time of 10.30 seconds in the men’s 100m semifinals. It was the third fastest time by an Indian sprinter behind the 10.21 clocked by Anil Kumar in the year 2000) and the 10.26 clocked by Amiya Kumar Mallick (2016) and Sanjeet Singh (2018). It equaled the 10.30 by Mohammed Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (2010).

Exploding to a good start, he blazed the track to leave the field gaping in awe. Telangana’s Amlan Borgohain was the second fastest qualifier, winning his semifinal heats in 10.44 seconds. Harjit Singh (Punjab) was the only other sprinter to dip in under 10.50 seconds when he won his semifinal heats in 10.48.

The results (finals):


10000m: 1. Savita Pal (Uttar Pradesh) 33:59.35; 2. Sanjivani Jadhav (Maharashtra) 34:01.26; 3. Kavita Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) 34:04.45.

Pole Vault: 1. Rosy Paulraj (Tamil Nadu) 3.90m; 2. Pavithra Venkatesh (Tamil Nadu) 3.80; 3. Mariya Jaison (Kerala) 3.70.

Shot Put: 1. Kiran Baliyan (Uttar Pradesh) 16.45m; 2. Manpreet Kaur (Punjab) 15.65; 3. Sonal Goyal (Delhi) 15.09.

Javelin Throw: 1. Annu Rani (Uttar Pradesh) 63.24m (New National & Meet Records. Old National Record: 62.43, Annu Rani, Doha, 2019; Old Meet Record: 62.34, Annu Rani, 2019); 2. Sanjana Choudhary (Rajasthan) 54.55; 3. Sharmila Kumari (Haryana) 50.78.