Annu, Manju set national marks but short of CWG qualification

Lucknow: Annu Rani of Uttar Pradesh and Manju Bala of Rajasthan set national records in women`s javelin and hammer throws respectively but both fell short of Commonwealth Games qualifying standards on the penultimate day of 54th National Senior Athletics Championships here Saturday.

Annu sent the spear to a new distance of 58.83m that erased the 14-year-old national record in the name of Gurmeet Kaur (58.64m).

However, the qualification standard for the Glasgow CWG set out by Athletics Federation of India stands at 60.03m. It is now up to the selection committee of AFI to decide whether she will be picked for the CWG or not.

Manju made her fourth straight victory in the women`s hammer throw with a new national record as she sent the ball and chain to 62.74m. Her case will also now depend on the decision of AFI selectors.

Former Asian bronze medallist H M Jyothi of Karnataka ran a superb qualification race in 100m heats, clocking 11.48 secs, that equaled AFI qualification norm for Glasgow Games.

Kerala`s Mayookha Johny, meanwhile, completed a double as she added the triple jump gold with a new meet mark of 13.72m to the long jump win earlier. However, another Kerala athlete, M A Prajusha, who finished fourth in Delhi Commonwealth Games failed to register a mark today.

Another meet record came from men`s steeplechaser Naveen of Haryana who clocked 8:42.29 to win gold. His much experienced teammate Jaiveer won the silver with 8:47.26.

Tamil Nadu high jumper Nikhil Chittarasu cleared 2.20m to win the gold from Kerala`s Jithin C Thomas, who had a hat-trick of victories in these championships earlier, but could manage only 2.18m today.

It was a cake-walk for national record-holder Sureka Renjith in women`s pole vault as she climbed to the top spot at 3.80m in the absence of arch-rival Khyati Vakharia, who is on a training-cum-competition stint in the United States.

The quartet of R Veeramani, Md. Baba, Prem Kumar and Abdul Najeeb Qureshi from India`s newly created Telangana state won the men`s 4x100m gold in 41.53 secs. However, they took part in the meet under the AFI banner as their newly formed state association was yet to get the affiliation from the national federation.

Kerala continued at the top with 88.5 points with just a day to go in the championships.

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