Shot putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor broke his own national record to lit up a rainy day at the 59th National Open Athletics Championships here on Saturday.
After a half-hour delay because of heavy rain, the 25-year-old Toor warmed up with a put of 20.41m, just 2cm short of his season’s best, which he managed during the World Championships in Doha. He followed that up with a 20.29m effort before uncorking the biggest throw yet by an Indian.
On his subsequent attempts, he egged himself on to try and get 21.10m -- the Olympic Games qualifying standard -- but without any success. Noah Nirmal Tom and VK Vismaya claimed the 400m titles for men and women respectively as evidence of their rising stature among India’s consistent quarter milers.
The 25-year-old Tom clocked 45.88 seconds, only his second sub 46 second run. Vismaya’s time of 52.71 seconds was her fifth fastest, having clocked 52.12 in the Josefa Seckare Memorial in Brno in August. With Jisna Mathew (Kerala) not finishing the race, Vismaya beat two challengers from Haryana -- Kiran and Anjali Devi Kundu.
The home state’s Priyanka Kerketta won a tough women’s long jump battle with a 6.16m effort. She endured stiff competition from Railways’ Rintu Mathew, whose final two jumps were over 6m. That gave her the silver medal, ahead of teammate Neena Varakil. Railways’ Bhawna Jat won the women’s 20km race walk with a new meet record.
The 23-year-old clocked 1:38:30.00 to lower the 1:39:30.40 mark set by Deepmala Devi in New Delhi way back in 2006. Ravina (Haryana) and Sonal Sukhwal (Rajasthan) finished second and third respectively.