Thursday, July 29, 2021

Tajinderpal Singh Toor and Annu Rani rewrite meet marks, showcase consistency

Shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Punjab) and Javelin Thrower Annu Rani (Uttar Pradesh) showed their preparations for next month’s Tokyo Olympic Games were on track with new meet records on the penultimate day of the Fast&Up 60th National Inter-State Athletics Championships at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in Patiala on Monday.

 

Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who achieved Olympic qualification with a new National Record of 21.49m here last week, showed a praiseworthy consistency with each of his five legal puts over the 20m mark. Despite securing the meet mark with 20.63m on his second try and being assured of victory with 20.96m on his fourth visit to the circle, he uncorked a final put of 21.10m

Annu Rani, who had trained her sights on the Olympic Qualifying mark of 64.00m, opened with a throw of 62.83m to improve her own meet mark by nearly three meters. Assured of victory, she when her subsequent throws did not travel the distance she would have liked, the World No. 13 stepped over the line each time to register no more legal throws.

It was the 10th time in her last 11 competitions, dating back to August 30, 2019, that she went past 60m mark. More importantly, she would be pleased with the fact that she has won each of the five competitions at home this year with such throws. She is ranked 14 in this year’s top list and is confident of making her presence felt in Tokyo2020.

Sri Lanka’s Kalinga Kumarage and Karnataka’s Priya Habbanathahally respectively won the men and women’s quarter-mile events. Kalinga Kumarage found the pace to clock a personal best time of 45.73 seconds, improving on the 45.99 he clocked in the Jakarta Asian Games nearly three years ago.

With National Record holder M Sreeshankar (Kerala) not competing on Monday, his team-mate Muhammed Anees Yahiya claimed the men’s Long Jump title with a best effort of 7.76m on his last try. Yugant Shekhar Singh (Uttar Pradesh), who had a best of 7.63 on his third attempt, went all-out to wrest the lead but ended up with three no marks.

There would great interest in the final day’s schedule when discus thrower Seema Punia will try to breach the Olympic qualifying mark of 63.50m. Besides, the men’s 4x400m relay squad would attempt to match, if not better, the 3:01.89 clocked on Friday to confirm their place for the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

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