Ace sprinter Srabani Nanda has become the first Indian track and field athlete to participate in a competition amid the Covid-19 pandemic, running in a meet in Jamaica alongside some of the world’s best.
Nanda, now 29, had represented India at the 2016 Olympics. One of the hopefuls from the country of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, Nanda enjoys an advantage over most other Indian athletes, who have just resumed training, because she is now training and competing in Jamaica’s MVP Track Club. Among sprinters, only the 4×400 Mixed Relay team has got a berth for next year’s event so far.
Srabani Nanda in action in 100 meters at the Velocity Fest 2020 Meet 2 in Kingston, Jamaica on 18th July 2020. Nanda had clocked 11.78 to finish third across all women’s 100 meters races #IndianAthletics https://t.co/d4ZiuCvP70
— Rahul Bhutani (@BhutaniRahul) July 22, 2020
Nanda competed in the 100m race at the Velocity Fest meeting at Jamaica College on Sunday, representing the MVP Track club. She won heat two in 11.78 seconds for a third-place finish overall.
Apart from Nanda, the Velocity Fest also had double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce competing.
Reigning Olympic champion Thompson, also representing MVP Track Club, was the overall winner in 11.19 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce, representing Nike, won the women’s 200m in 22.74 seconds.
Former 100m world champion Yohan Blake won the men’s 200m in 20.62 seconds.
The Velocity Fest was Jamaica’s first track-and-field event since March.
Nanda has a personal best of 11.45 in 100m and 23.07 in 200m. She took part in the 2016 Olympics and finished sixth in her heat.
She was part of the bronze winning 4x100m relay quartet in the 2017 Asian Championships. She had also won a 200m gold and a 100m silver in the 2016 South Asian Games.