Indians produced a dominating performance by grabbing a rich haul of 12 gold medals out of 14 on offer on the opening day of second South Asian Junior Athletics Championships at the Birsa Munda Stadium. Augustine Yesudas and Archana Suseentran became the fastest male and female athletes by winning their respective 100m sprint events in meet record times respectively.
Augustine,who posted a national junior mark of 10.57 secs in National Inter-Zone championships at Kochi,won the gold with a new meet mark in 10.61 secs. Archana clocked a personal best of 12.06 secs to erase Jessy Arulappan’s meet mark of 12.10s. However,Sri Lanka’s Siwanthi Kumari Rathnayake snatched the first gold of the meet as she justified her reigning Asian Junior champion status with a brilliant run to capture the junior women’s 400m in 56.87secs. The island nation also won their second gold through triple jumper Vidusha Lakshani with a leap of 12.68m.
Indian athletes eclipsed six other meet records too. Flag-bearer Shakti Solanki maintained his winning streak with a remarkable 17.89m toss in shot put. Spearman Parvinder Kumar hurled the javelin to a new distance of 67.63m. There was an interesting dual in high jump between Sreenith Mohan of India and Thilina Karunaratne of Sri Lanka). The Lankan,credited with a personal best of 2.16m,was locked into a battle with Sreenith all the way but had a failure in the height of 2.06m.
Both the jumpers failed to clear further heights and the Indian was declared as the winner while the two shared the record-height of 2.06m. Javelin thrower C K Prajitha was the first to set a record in the afternoon with a throw of 41.69m.
On the track,P U Chitra,who won a distance double in the recently concluded Asian Schools Athletics Championships at Kuantan (Malaysia),ran a well-calculated race and registered a new time of 4:32.13. In the final event of the day,junior men’s 400m,Sandeep Lathwal emerged winner in 48.24 secs..