Shot putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor broke his own national record to lit up a rainy day in the 59th National Open Athletics Championships in Ranchi on Saturday. Representing AFI, Toor came up with a best effort of 20.92m to improve upon his own earlier national record of 20.75m which he had set while winning the Asian Games gold medal in Jakarta last year. His farthest throw came in his third attempt. After a half-hour delay caused by heavy rain, the 25-year-old Toor warmed up with a put of 20.41m, just 2cm short of his season’s best that he managed during the World Championships in Doha on October 3.
He followed that up with a 20.29m effort before uncorking the biggest throw yet by an Indian and raising his arms in triumph as soon as he knew he had got a new national mark.
On his subsequent attempts, he egged himself on to try and get 21.10m — the Olympic Games qualifying standard — but without any success.
“I was in good rhythm today. I was aiming 21.30 to 21.40 and I think it crossed that in the last throw but unfortunately it was a foul. I will try again to qualify for Olympics at the World Military Games in Wuhan, China later this month. It will be a good competition at Wuhan,” Toor said.
Noah Nirmal Tom and VK Vismaya claimed the 400m titles for men and women respectively as evidence of their rising stature among India’s consistent quartermilers.
The 25-year-old Tom clocked 45.88 seconds, only his second sub 46 second run.
The 22-year-old Vismaya’s time of 52.71 seconds was her fifth fastest, having clocked 52.12 In the Josefa Seckare Memorial in Brno on August 28.
With Jisna Mathew (Kerala) not finishing the race, Vismaya beat two challengers from Haryana — 19-year-old Kiran and Anjali Devi Kundu.
The home state’s Priyanka Kerketta won a tough women’s long jump battle with a 6.16m effort. She endured stiff competition from Railways Rintu Mathew, whose final two jumps were over 6m gave her the silver medal ahead of team-mate Neena Varakil.
Railways’ Bhawna Jat won the women’s 20km race walk with a new meet record to boot. The 23-year-old clocked 1:38:30.00 to lower the 1:39:30.40 mark set by Deepmala Devi in New Delhi way back in 2006. Ravina (Haryana) and Sonal Sukhwal (Rajasthan) finished second and third respectively.