Olympians Renjith, Sahana rise to top
By Sandip G - CHENNAI
12th September 2012 10:54 AM
Just when Renjith Maheshwary was expected to raise himself to the next level, subsequent to his breaching the 17 metre-mark in 2007, his career inexplicably plateaued. Succeeding years captured his erraticism in full measures so much so that despite qualifying for the Olympics, he was urged to undergo a further trial to prove his fitness.
The London Olympics was expectedly a low point in his career as he failed to qualify for the final with a “no mark”. He took off horrendously in his first jump in the 52nd Open Athletics Championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday. The electronic flashboard flashed 15.93m. He followed it up with 16.13, 16.21, foul, 16.35 before the final effort of 16.72m. Even his second jump (16.13m) would have sufficed as his closest competitor in the domestic circuit, Amarjeet Singh, leapt only 16.03, trailed by Arpinder Singh (15.92). The measurements clearly indicate the mediocrity of Indian triple jumpers including Maheshwary, who at one stage of his career was projected to fetch laurels for the country. And at 27, he hardly seems like fulfilling his potential. But given the shortage of talented triple jumpers, his national record of 17.07 (2010) would take some beating to be surpassed.
So far, only one meet record hasn’t been breached, forget about national records. For all the organisational diligence, competence levels have been appalling, more so evident in the track than field events in what is supposedly the fastest track of the country. When athletes elsewhere are briskly marking sub-10s, a mere run of 10.60 by Manigandan was enough to fetch him gold. He was literally unthreatened as his closest rival, BG Bagraj, completed the race in 10.70 seconds, trailed by Debhanth Jyoti Shankar (10.74). Unheralded sprinter Manisha of Railways emerged the fastest woman of the championship, outrunning favourite Sharadha Narayanan, her Railways colleague. Manisha timed 11.77, .26 seconds ahead of Sharadha (12.03).
Meanwhile, experienced high jumper Sahana Kumari and quarter-miler MR Povamma annexed gold. Poovamma, who has fallen out of the national radar, impressed with an effort of 53.79 sec. That none of her counterparts managed sub-54 timings exposes the dearth of quality quarter-milers in the country. Olympian Sahana Kumari sprang 1.84m for gold in high jump, a one-cm improvement upon the meet record, held by Sahana herself.
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