Bhopal: Moving a step closer to the overall title, holders Kerala extended their lead at the top of the point table on the penultimate day of the National Junior School Meet in Bhopal on Friday.
Kerala won three gold and silver each and a bronze medal on day three to take the overall points tally to 68. Kerala have so far won eight gold, five silver and three bronze medals.
Second-placed Tamil Nadu have 31 points, winning three gold, silver and bronze each. Haryana climbed to third spot with three gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
In both the boys’ and girls’ 4x100m relay, Kerala won gold with new meet records. The boys’ relay squad comprising S Pranav, A C Arun, Akhil Babu, and C Abinav clocked 42.86 seconds, while the girls’ team of P D Anjali, Ann Rose Tomy, Anu Joseph and E Ancy Sojan finished the race with a timing of 48.05 seconds.
Sandra Babu of GVHSS Mathirappilly, Ernakulam, who chalked up a distance of 12.41 meters in triple jump was the only athlete to strike gold for the state in an individual event on Friday. P S Prabhavathi of Ideal EHSS, Kadakkassery, Malappuram, finished second.
In boys’ 100m hurdles, Akhil Babu of SAI, Thiruvananthapuram, and in girls’ 3km walk, Sandra Surendran of Kalladi HSS, Palakkad, took home silver.
Anna Thomas Mathew of SHGHSS Bharananganam, Kottayam, won bronze in the girls’ 100m hurdles.
A gutsy display
Sandra Babu, who had won silver in long jump on Thursday, came up with a better performance in triple jump to clinch gold despite being down with chickenpox. Sandra, who returned home on Friday evening, will miss the National Junior Athletics Championship, scheduled for next week in Vijayawada.
Luck deserts Kerala
The state lost two sure medals on Friday. C. Chandni, who had won gold in 1,500m, ran barefoot after her shoe slipped off during the 3,000m race and managed to finish only 10th.
R. K. Sooryajith of BEM HSS, Palakkad, was in the lead in 100m hurdles, but ended up tripping over the hurdle and tumbled to the ground.
Mar Basil invites fastest boy
Meanwhile, the authorities of Kerala’s champion school Mar Basil HSS, Kothamangalam, expressed their willingness to take Nisar Ahmed, who emerged the fastest athlete of the meet, under their wings. His father Mohammad Haq is rickshaw puller while mother Shafikunisha, works as a domestic help.
“Nisar told us that he would take a decision after consulting his parents,” said Mar Basil coach Shibi Mathew.