Lucknow, August 28: BalakumarNithin and Alex Antony confirmed that they would be new faces on the national athletics firmament as they won the men’s 200m and 400m finals respectively in great style in the 59th National Inter-State Athletics Championships at the PAC Stadium here on Wednesday.
Having won the sprint double in the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune earlier this year, Nithin’s winning time of 20.91 seconds here was the third-best on the list among Indians over the 200m this year. Only Arokia Rajiv and Muhammed Anas Yahiya, 400m specialists, have run faster than the bespectacled sprinter from Tamil Nadu.
Alex Antony, who first gave notice of his potential with a 46.66-second run in the Indian Grand Prix V in Patiala earlier this month upon return to the track after three years, improved his personal best with a 46.17-second effort. It is creditable that he won a race that included runners of the caliber of AyyasamyDharun and Tamilarasan Santhosh.
The pair finished fifth and seventh while Haryana’s Harsh Baljeet Singh and Sachin Roby (Karnataka) took the lesser medals but finishing inside 47 seconds each. Kunhu Mohammed, who has been part of the Indian relay team, was unable to go past the semifinals run in the morning, clocking 47.69 in finishing third in his heats.
Triple jumper Arpinder Singh sought gamely to overcome the sapping humidity – he said he consumed two litres of fluids during the competition – but managed a best of 16.83m, 12cm short of the World Championship qualifying standard. In an intense competition, he was pushed close by Karnataka’s U Karthik and Tamil Nadu’s Mohammed Salahuddin.
Chithra’s 2:02.96, easily her personal best time in the two-lapper, was comparable to the 2:02.70 clocked by M Gomathi in finishing first in the Asian Athletics Championships. In Manjit Singh and Jinson Johnson’s absence, Mohammed Afsal did not let the scorching heat and humidity get to him as he produced the year’s best by an Indian in the 800m, clocking 1:48.35.
The results (all finals):
200m: 1. BalakumarNithin (Tamil Nadu) 20.91 seconds; 2. Akshay Nain (Delhi) 21.39; 3. Abhinav Panwar (Delhi) 21.47.
400m: 1. Alex A Antony (Kerala) 46.17 seconds; 2. Harsh Baljeet Singh (Haryana) 46.64; 3. Sachin Roby (Karnataka) 46.96.
800m: 1. Mohammed Afsal (Kerala) 1:48.35; 2. Mujamil Ameer (Tamil Nadu) 1:49.03; 3. Ankit (Haryana) 1:49.95.
400m Hurdles: 1. Mahdi Pirjahan (Iran) 49.33 seconds (New meet record; Old: 49.69, AyyasamyDharun, Guwahati, 2018); 2. Jagdeesh Chandra (Karnataka) 50.85; 3. Jithin Paul (Kerala) 50,92.
Triple Jump: 1. Arpinder Singh (Punjab) 16.83m; 2. Karthik U (Karnataka) 16.80; 3. Salahuddin Mohammed (Tamil Nadu) 16.79.
Shot put: 1. Inderjeet Singh (Haryana) 19.73m; 2. Jasdeep Dhillon (Punjab) 17.77; 3. Shakti Rathore (Rajasthan) 17.20.
Decathlon: 1. Gurpreet Singh (Chandigarh) 6667 points (100m: 11.53; LJ: 6.60m; SP: 12.46m; HJ: 1.90m; 400m: 51.80; 110mH: 16.26; DT: 37.98; PV: 3.70; JT: 50.91; 1500m: 4:44.18); 2. DuraiMurugan (Tamil Nadu) 66621; 3. Krishna Kumar (Tamil Nadu) 6587.
20km walk: 1. Sandeep Kumar (Haryana) 1:27:25.47; 2, KT Irfan (Kerala) 1:28:20:94; 3. Chandan Singh (Uttarakhand) 1:28:21.29.
800m: 1. P U Chitra (Kerala) 2:02.96; 2. Jessy Joseph (Kerala) 2:07.09; 3. Pramila Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) 2:07.62.
400m Hurdles: 1. ArpithaManjunatha (Karnataka) 59.98 seconds; 2. Aarthi (Tamil Nadu) 1:00.48; 3. Dhivya (Tamil Nadu) 1:01.06.
Long Jump: 1. Nayana James (Tamil Nadu) 6.20m; 2. Priyanka Kerketta (Jharkhand) 6.13; 3. Harshini Saravanan (Tamil Nadu) 6.07.