Mallala Anusha overcame unwanted distractions and a stiff challenge from an experienced Sheena N.V. to achieve her personal best and win the women’s triple jump crown on the opening day of the National Federation athletics meet at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

The 21-year-old from Andhra Pradesh leapt to 13.53m, just 0.04 off the 18-year-old meet record, to beat Sheena in style in pleasant conditions. Anusha, whose previous best was 13.40m when she won the National Open meet in Bengaluru last year and had claimed the bronze in the Goa National Games with 13.16m, set the tone by jumping 13.28m in her second attempt. Sheena, a former Asian championships bronze medallist, responded with 13.32m.

Anusha consistently produced good jumps to give Sheena a good chase but faced some challenges in her fourth and fifth jumps. She was not happy from where her fourth attempt was measured and marked 13.29m. She protested strongly over a similar issue in her fifth jump, which was remeasured from a different spot and was rectified from 13.11m to 13.35m, helping her restore the lead.

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The Andhra jumper gave her best in her final attempt and won the title comfortably.

Santhosh Kumar T., who spent about 20 days in the Bahamas camp and then competed in a World Continental tour event in Dubai to time 50.32, won the men’s 400m hurdles comfortably. Taking a clear lead after the last bend, Santhosh finished his second race of the season clocking 50.04.

Tamil Nadu’s Santhosh Kumar (no. 620) runs in the 400m hurdles final.

Tamil Nadu’s Santhosh Kumar (no. 620) runs in the 400m hurdles final.
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Tamil Nadu’s Santhosh Kumar (no. 620) runs in the 400m hurdles final.
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The Asian bronze medallist expected better timing. “The wait of almost 45 minutes before the race perhaps cooled my body down. It was not my day,” said Santosh.

Veerpal Kaur, targetting 58s, was the unexpected winner of the women’s 400m hurdles as she stopped the clock at 59.43s to take the gold.

Vithya Ramraj, who had hit the headlines by equalling the legendary P.T. Usha’s National record of 55.42s at the Hangzhou Asian Games in October last, disappointed all by withdrawing from the race early.

Vithya began visibly slowly and ran only a few meters before pulling out and walking off with a ‘back’ issue.

The other big name, Siva S., did not compete in the pole vault, which was won by Asian under-20 bronze medallist Dev Meena with a mark of 5.10m.

Local favourite Animesh Kujur was the lone sprinter to clock a sub-21 (20.81s) time in the men’s 200m semifinals.

The results (finals):

400m H: 1. Santhosh Kumar T. (TN) 50.04, 2. Nikhil Bhardwaj (Pun) 50.92, 3. Dhaval Mahesh Utekar (Guj) 51.13; Pole vault: 1. Dev Kumar Meena (MP) 5.10m, 2. Shekhar Kumar Pandey (UP) 4.90m, 3. Hariharan R. (TN) 4.0m.


400m H: 1. Veerpal Kaur (Pun) 59.43, 2. Salini Valuparamnil Kris (Ker) 1:00.73, 3. Ramandeep Kaur (Pun) 1:01.29; Triple jump: 1. Mallala Anusha (AP) 13.53m, 2. Sheena N.V. (Ker) 13.32m, 3. Gayathry Sivakumar (Ker) 13.08m; Javelin: 1. Rashmi K. (AP) 54.75m, 2. Karishma Sanil (KAr) 49.91m, 3. Rupinder Kaur Sohal (Pun) 47.66m; 5000m

5000m: 1. Lili Das (WB) 16:31.05, 2. Poonam Sonune (Mah) 17:02.51, 3. Kiran (Har) 17:06.64.