For a giant of a man, Kirpal Singh has a smile that is particularly disarming. The 29-year-old from Punjab had enough reasons to flash that smile at the Calicut University Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
He produced a series of fine throws on his way to the gold medal with a new meet record. He also touched 60m for the first time in his career.
He won the men’s discus throw on day four of the Federation Cup with his fourth attempt registering 61.83m; it was one of his four successive throws that went past 60m.
No Indian male since Vikas Gowda has perhaps looked this good hurling a discus. Kirpal’s show was good enough to meet the qualifying standard for the Asian Games.
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He also broke the meet record that had stood for 22 years. It had been set by Anil Kumar (59.55m). Gowda’s National record, established in 2012, is quite some way off though – at 66.28m.
Kirpal was too good for the field here, though. Silver medallist Parshant Malik of Haryana (54.11m) and Amit Kumar of Rajasthan (52.95m) were barely in the picture.
K.M. Chanda of Delhi also ran past the Asian Games qualifying mark in the 800m. The 20-year-old clocked 2:02.11 to win the gold, ahead of Lili Das of Bengal and Yamuna Ladkat of Maharashtra.
Results (finals): Men 800m: 1. Krishan Kumar (Haryana) 1:47.43; 2. Mohammed Afsal (Kerala) 1;47.45; 3. Anu Kumar (Uttarakhand) 1:47.81.
Pole Vault: 1. S Siva (Tamil Nadu) and Gokul Nath (Tamil Nadu) 4.90m; 3. A Gnana Sone (Tamil Nadu) 4.90.
Discus Throw: 1. Kirpal Singh Batth (Punjab) 61.83m (New Meet Record. Old: 59.55, Anil Kumar, Lucknow, 2000); 2. Prashant Malik (Haryana) 54.11; 3. Amit Kumar (Rajasthan) 52.95.
Women 800m: 1. Chanda (Delhi) 2:02.11; 2. Lili Das (West Bengal) 2:03.23; 3. Yamuna Ladkat (Maharashtra) 2:03.39.
Triple Jump: 1. Kartika Godandapani (Tamil Nadu) 13.14m; 2. Sandra Babu (Kerala) 12.98; 3. S Nandhini (Tamil Nadu) 12.92.
High Jump: 1. Abhinaya Shetty (Karnataka) 1.83m; 2. Gracena Merly (Tamil Nadu) 1.83; 3. Kevinaa Ashwine Annavi (Tamil Nadu) 1.71.
Discus Throw: 1. Seema Punia (Uttar Pradesh) 54.83m; 2. Nidhi Rani (Haryana) 52.18; 3. Sonal Goyal (Delhi) 50.62.
Heptathlon: 1. Swapna Burman (West Bengal) 5800 points (100mH: 14.31s; HJ: 1.82m; SP: 12.43m; 200m: 26.48s; LJ: 5.71m; JT: 49.75m; 800: 2:21.80); 2. Mareena George (Kerala) 5249; 3. Sonu Kumari (Haryana) 4961.