Spotlight was on the male javelin throwers in the fourth leg of the Indian Grand Prix athletics meet on Tuesday, in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. What was even more exciting was the fact that the men’s javelin throw title didn’t go to favourites, but to Rajasthan’s 21-year-old Yashvir Singh.
His gold-winning effort of 82.13m was recorded in his second attempt. Yashvir is the second non-camper to break the 80m barrier so far this season.
Earlier in March, Karnataka’s DP Manu hurled the javelin to a distance of 83.43m during a domestic meet in Kerala. On Tuesday, Manu finished third with a throw of 77.66m behind Uttar Pradesh’s Rohit Yadav, whose throw was 80.88m.
Last year, Yashvir Singh’s personal best was 79.31, while his season best, earlier this year in January, was 77.76m. The Rajasthan thrower has been around since 2017 as a junior and entered the record books last year by erasing the national U20 record of Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra.
Singh had recorded a throw of 78.68m to improve Chopra’s U20 record of 76.91m. Overall, 12 Indian javelin throwers have crossed the 80m barrier so far. Chopra, whose national record is 88.07m is the leader.
Indian Grand Prix: Other events
Away from the throwing arena in the Indian Grand Prix, men’s long jump was another field event that attracted attention. Kerala’s Muhammed Anees Yahiya won long jump gold with a distance of 8.15m.
Yahiya, however, fell short of the World Championships qualification mark of 8.22m. India’s national record holder M Sreeshankar (8.36m) and Jeswin Aldrin (8.26m) are the two jumpers who have already qualified for the World Championships. Both Sreeshankar and Aldrin are currently competing in Europe.
The women’s long jump event saw 2021 World U20 silver medalist Shaili Singh return to competition after a long lay-off due to injury. Shaili finished third in the competition with a jump of 6.27m. Nayana James led the field with a jump of 6.37m, while Ancy Sojan was second with a jump of 6.35m.
The track competition was keenly contested, but performances weren't noteworthy. The next stop for the elite Indian athletes is next month’s National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Chennai.
It will also act as a qualifying event for both Birmingham Commonwealth Games as well as the July 15 to 24 Eugene World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.