The clouds looked ominously dark as the 200m runners began their warm-up at the Calicut University Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. By the time they finished their race, it had begun to rain. Then it poured.
There was lightning and thunder too, accompanied by strong wind; it was so strong, most of the tents erected across the ground were blown away, with the athletes and officials running for cover.
Amidst all this gloom, Amlan Borgohain was beaming. He had run a fabulous race to win the men’s 200m on the final day of the Federation Cup athletics.
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He wasn’t sure about his timing, though. It took a while, but the confirmation finally came. Borgohain had clocked 20.52s, a new National record. The existing record of 20.63s was set by Muhammed Anas in 2018; the meet record of Anand Menezes (20.79s) was older, established in 2002.
Borgohain also achieved the qualifying standard for the Asian Games. “Yes, the rain affected my run, but then all the runners suffered, not just me,” said the 23-year-old from Assam. “However, I come from a place where we get more rain than anywhere else in the country.”
New meet record
It had stopped raining when the men’s triple jump got underway, but it was getting rather dark. The still wet pit was lit up, however, by an exciting contest, which was won by Kerala’s Eldhose Paul, with a new meet record to boot. His 16.99m erased Renjith Maheshwary’s 2012 mark of 16.85m.
There was a new meet record for Avinash Sable too, in the men’s 5,000m. He clocked 13:39.43 to better G. Lakshmanan’s 2018 record of 13:47.28s.
One of the most keenly-awaited events was the women’s 200m; it was won by Hima Das of Assam, with a time of 23.63s, ahead of Maharashtra’s Aishwarya Mishra and Karnataka’s Priya Mohan.
The results (Men)
- 200m: 1. Amlan Borgohain (Asm) 20.52s (NR; OR: 20.63s), 2. Akash Kumar (UP) 20.89s, 3. V. Muhammed Ajmal (Ker) 20.92s.
- 400m hurdles: 1. M.P. Jabir (Ker) 50.35s, 2. T. Santhosh Kumar (TN) 50.72s, 3. Dhaval Utekar (Guj) 51.58s.
- 5000m: 1. Avinash Sable (Mah) 13:39.43 (NMR; OR: 13:47.28s), 2. Kartik Kumar (UP) 13:48.59, 3. Abhishek Pal (UP) 13:48.99.
- Triple jump: 1. Eldhose Paul (Ker) 16.99m, 2. Praveen Chithravel (TN) 16.84m, 3. Karthik Unnikrishnan (Ker) 16.81m.
- Hammer: 1. Deepak (Har) 60.83m, 2. Bajinder Singh (Pun) 59.62m, 3. Gurdev Singh (Pun) 59.39m.
- 200m: 1. Hima Das (Asm) 23.63s, 2. Aishwarya Mishra (Mah) 23.64s, 3. Priya Mohan (Kar) 23.85s.
- 400m hurdles: 1. R. Anu (Ker) 58.63s, 2. R. Arathi (Ker) 59.44s, 3. Simmy (Har) 59.87s.
- 5000m: 1. Parul Chaudhary (UP) 15:39.77, 2. Seema (HP) 15:40.60, 3. Sanjivani Jadhav (Mah) 15:42.80.
- Hammer: 1. Sarita Singh (UP) 64.16m, 2. Manju Bala (Raj) 64.01m, 3. Tanya Choudhary (UP) 59.84m.