Promising sprinter from SSCB, Manikanta H, set the track ablaze on the opening day of the 62nd National Open Athletics Championships by improving the men’s 100m national record. While Tejas Shirse of Railways improved the meet record in the men’s 110m hurdles.
The 22 years old SSCB sprinter clocked 10.23 seconds in the 100m semis to improve the national record of 10.26 seconds clocked by Odisha’s international sprinter Amiya Kumar Mallick in 2016.
“I was prepared to erase the 100m record,” elated ManiKanta said. “I’ve plans to further improve my performance in the final.”
Manikanta had posted a time of 10.50 seconds in the heat.
After a not so encouraging performance at the National Inter State Athletics Championships held in June in Bhubaneswar, Manikanta was knocked out during the semis, but he bounced back during the Services athletics meeting held recently in Hyderabad.
His gold winning time in the Services competition was 10.31 seconds. “I had trained hard for the departmental meet and won gold” Manikanta, who hails from district Udupi in Karnataka said.
Manikanta was an all rounder during his school days, but started serious sprint training in 2018. He joined the army in 2020, which further improved his sprinting skills.
In the women’s 100m semis, Kamaljeet Kaur of Punjab (11.47 seconds), Giridharani Ravi Kumar Tamil Nadu (11.46 seconds) and Sneha SS of Karnataka (11.47 seconds) emerged strong contenders for the gold medal.
Maharashtra’s Tejas Shirse representing Railways clocked 13.72 seconds in the 110m hurdles heats to improve the meet record of 13.77 seconds set by Siddhanth Thingalaya in 2011.
In the men’s discus throw, 28 athletes reported for the preliminary round, which was dominated by Gagandeep Singh of SSCB. His best throw was 52.96m. Manipur’s Oinam Singh was close second with 52.82m.
10000m: Seema (Himachal Pradesh) 33:26.90, Kavita Yadav (Railways) 33:35.57, Phoolan Pal (UP) 34:55.13.
Hammer throw: Anmol Kaur (Police Sports Control Board) 60.19m, Tanya Chaudhary (UP) 59.04m, Sarita B Singh 58.42m.
10,000m: Dinesh (Maharashtra) 29:10.11, Mohan Saini (SSCB) 29:10.82, Sandeep Singh (SSCB) 29:11.21.
Pole vault: Dev Meena (Madhya Pradesh) 5.05m, Shekhar Pandey (UP) 4.95m, Tanuj Kumar (Haryana) 4.85m.