Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, long jumper Nayana James and discus thrower Navjeet Kaur Dhillon made it a memorable outing at the Indian Grand Prix-1 held at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala on Tuesday by securing much-coveted places at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
The 20-year-old Chopra threw the javelin to a distance of 82.88m, finishing ahead of silver medallist Vipin Kasana (80.04m) and bronze medallist Amit Kumar, who could manage 77.33m. The latter two failed to overcome the required mark of 81.80m.
This was the first domestic event for the 2016 world u-20 champion Chopra, who has recently returned after a training stint at Offenburg, Germany.
James, who grabbed a silver medal at the Asian Indoor Championships, shone at the meet with a jump of 6.47m. It was enough to fetch her a spot at the Gold Coast Games as she met the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) criterion of 6.45m.
Following her was Neena Pinto (6.41m) and Poornima Hembram with a leap of 5.99m.
World junior bronze medallist Dhillon cleared a distance of 59.18 in discus throw to sail past the AFI qualifying standard of 59m. It was her personal best effort. Coming second in that category was Parbathi Sethi, who was way behind at 42.58m.
In women’s 100m race, Dutee Chand could only muster 11.57 seconds, which was nowhere near the qualifying criterion of 11.16 seconds. Teenager Hina Das was a standout performer and took the silver with a timing of 11.74 -- her personal best.
Triple jumper Rakesh Babu had a heartbreak when he produced 16.59m, which was just one centimetre short of the 16.60m benchmark. Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Arpinder Singh came second having jumped 16.45m while national record holder Renjith Maheshwary had to be content with just 16.09m, which gave him the bronze.
Rising triple jumper Renu stole the show when she pipped Asian Indoor Championships silver medallist NV Sheena. The former jumped to 13.26m which was way better than Sheena’s effort of 13.08m.
In 400m hurdles, MP Jabir clinched the yellow metal with a timing of 50.60 seconds, which was just shy of his personal record of 50.22m.