Annu Rani, an experienced thrower, set a national record of 63.82m on her maiden tries in the Javelin Nationals in Jamshedpur. For over a decade, the Uttar Pradesh elite athlete has been one of India's finest female thrower by a long shot. She beat the national record for the ninth time on May 9, improving on her prior best of 63.24m achieved at the Federation Cup in Patiala the year before. Annu's following three attempts produced distances of 60.10m, 56.60m, and 58.13m before failing on her final two tries.
Annu Rani Wins Gold At Javelin Nationals
Annu had a significant advantage over her counterparts in Jamshedpur. Sanjana Choudhary took silver with a distance of 53.87m, behind Annu by over 10m, who bags gold. Annu has steadily improved on her own national record since breaking it in 2014 with 58.83m.
Annu had an uneventful season till now, following her setback in the Tokyo Olympics, where she finished 14th in the qualifying round. Even another record-breaking throw will not fulfil Annu's desire to go further. In the run-up to the Tokyo Games, the 30-year-old thrower had worked very closely with German biomechanics specialist and Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra's coach Klaus Bartonietz.
Yash Saini Secured 1st Spot In U-18 Category
Yash Saini of Haryana won the men's U-18 (700g javelin) division with a best throw of 67.42m. On this Sunday, Saini, competing in his first national-level competition, recorded a streak of steady throws of 65.21, 63.24, 64.05, and 65.46m. The 17-year-old, however, was disappointed with his performance since he believes he deserves in the 70m club.
"I was aiming to compete in an international javelin competition, I had thrown 72m in practice and would have been pleased if I had equaled that, but with the tiny breeze blowing our way and my niggle, I am pleased to have won gold on debut, I've been practising for three years, but my teachers Arvind Kumar and Dharmender didn't feel I was ready till today," the youngster told Indian Express.
68.67M Throw Leads Vivek Kumar To Top In U-20 Category
Vivek Kumar of Madhya Pradesh won the men's U-20 division, which featured just five competitors, with a record throw of 68.67m. The performances do not bode well for the U20 World Championships, only three months away. Since Chopra's gold medal at the Junior Worlds in 2016, India has yet to see another javelin thrower reach the medal. The gold-winning throw fell more than 17m behind Neeraj's age-group national record of 86.48m, indicating the quality of excellence at the U20 men's event.
Disha Wins Gold In U-16 Category
The gold medalist in the women's U-16 (500g javelin) category was Disha of Delhi, who threw 34.87m— nearly 15m, much less than the age-group national milestone of 49.31m achieved by Deepika of Haryana, the year before. There were just four participants in the U-16 women's competition.