Sprinters made the most of the opportunity to qualify for the World U20 Athletics Championships on the opening day of the 20th National Federation Cup U20 Athletics Championships. Performances in longer track events, though, weren’t encouraging. The three-day national competition is being held in Nadiad, Gujarat.
Uttar Pradesh’s promising sprinter Priyanka Sirakwar twice dipped under the World U20 Championships qualification time of 11.90 seconds in the women’s 100m event.
Priyanka clocked 11.80 seconds followed by 11.89 seconds in the semifinals. Going by Priyanka’s preliminary round performance, she has a bright chance of winning the 100m title.
But Aman Khohkar from Uttar Pradesh narrowly missed the World U20 qualification time of 10.60 in the men’s 100m. In the heats, Khokhar clocked 10.62 seconds. He has a chance to improve his performance in the medal round.
Karnataka’s talented 400m sprinter Priya Mohan too dipped below the qualification mark of 55.40 seconds as she clocked 53.45 seconds in the 400m heats. Rupal Chaudhary was another 400m runner who bettered qualification time by clocking 53.91 seconds in her heats. Both Rupal and Priya have the potential to win the title.
Distance runners on day 1 of Junior Federation Cup
Arjun Waskale of Madhya Pradesh too booked a berth for the World U20 Championships, scheduled to be held in Cali, Columbia, in August. Waskale's gold medal effort of 3:46.51 seconds in the men’s 1500m were better than the 3:48.50 qualification time. Waskale also broke the previous meeting record of 3:48.54.
Gagan Singh of Haryana, winner of gold with a time of 14:44.92 seconds in the men’s 5000m track race, was nearly 30 seconds slower than the World U20 qualifying time of 14:15.00.
Gujarat’s Drashtiben Prav Chaudhri dominated the women’s 5000m track race. She clocked 16:53.33 to win gold but missed the World U20 qualification time of 16:40.00.
Uttar Pradesh’s Chandrashekar has a bright chance of making the cut for the World U20 competition in the men’s long jump. Chandrashekar’s preliminary round jump of 7.40m fell short of the qualification standard of 7.55m. The Uttar Pradesh athlete has a chance to improve in the final round.
Top pole vaulters in the men’s group couldn’t achieve the challenging qualification mark of 5.05m. Tamil Nadu’s Sakthi R came up with a gold-winning performance of 4.60m in the Junior Federation Cup.