New Delhi, May 20 () With the conclusion of the 26th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships in Ranchi on May 18, as many as six athletes from the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) qualified for the prestigious Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Bangkok from July 12 to July 16, 2023.
Priya Mohan was the first to make the cut in the 400-metre event, striking gold with a time of 53.40 seconds. While the 20-year-old couldn’t beat her own timing from the 2021 Senior National Championships, it was enough to ensure that she met the qualification standards.
Speaking about her performance, Mohan said, “It is a moment of joy for me, but at the same time, I know I have a lot to improve upon. It will be my first senior Asian Athletics Championship, and I want to ensure that I make the most of the opportunity. My time at IIS has significantly benefited me, and I am still learning the nuances of competing at the senior level. The season has just begun, and I am looking forward to improving my timing further.”
Alongside Mohan, the IIS jumpers also made a significant mark at the competition. Rubina Yadav breached the qualification mark for the Asian Championships with a 1.80-metre jump, clinching gold in the high jump event, while Abhinaya Shetty claimed bronze with a 1.76-metre jump. In the men’s category, Jesse Sandesh clinched silver with a jump of 2.18 metres.
On the other hand, Ancy Sojan had already made a mark at the Indian GP-1 in March, where she jumped 6.49 metres. She surpassed her previous personal best of 6.55 metres by jumping 6.56 metres, setting a new personal best and clinching gold in the women’s long jump event.
Finally, amongst the jumpers, it was Commonwealth Games silver medallist Abdulla Aboobacker who clinched gold with a 16.76-metre jump and qualified for the Asian Championships in the triple jump. In the same event, Karthik Unnikrishnan clinched silver with the best jump of 16.44 metres.
Speaking about his qualification, Aboobacker said, “I am still under a heavy training regime, and the objective this year is to clear the 17-metre mark consistently. I was aiming for the national record as well, but it was pretty hot, so I had to change my plan a little. At the same time, I am really happy that the core objective of breaching the qualification barrier for the Asian Championships has been achieved.”
Finally, it was the javelin throw unit that lit up the stage at the Federation Cup, clinching two spots for the Asian Championships. Rohit Yadav clinched gold with the best throw of 83.40 metres, and Manu DP won silver with a throw of 82.95 metres, both clearing the Asian qualification mark of 78.23 metres set by AFI with ease in their second throw of the series, respectively.
Apart from the qualifications, there were a number of good results. Madhvendra Singh and Sachin Binu clinched silver and bronze, respectively, in the men’s 110-metre hurdle with timings of 14.01 seconds and 14.23 seconds. In the throw events, it was Damneet Singh who clinched gold in the hammer throw with a best of 64.91 metres.