Tamil Nadu’s C Praveen hoping to complete a golden double was pipped at the post by Haryana’s Bhupender Singh in long jump while javelin thrower Vikas Yadav of Maharashtra won his gold medal with a best throw of 75.02m on an exciting day’s competition in the first Khelo India School Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Praveen joined sprinter-jumper Ancy Sojan and jumper Sandra Babu as double medallist. While Praveen won gold in triple and silver in long jump, Ancy Sojan won a gold in long jump and silver in 200m in a single day and Sandra won silver medals in long and triple jumps.
Long jumper Bhupender produced the two best jumps of the day of 6.99m and 7.04 metres in his last two attempts, while Praveen was left stranded at 6.93m and a silver medal. A day earlier Praveen had won the triple jump.
Following his twin medals, a gold and a silver in the triple jump and long jump, the Class XI student of Balakrishnan Matriculation School, Praveen was very happy with the incentive this competition provides.
“The incentive for future training under the Khelo India School Games is excellent. In fact all the competitors are excited with this,” said Praveen.
The winner, Bhupender, presently studying 10th standard in Divine Light School, said, “My parents have always been supportive of my playing sport. Ganga Dutt, Coach of Department of Sports and Youth Affairs (Panchkula), was there to guide me and I started serious sport from Class 8 under his guidance.”
He added further added,”I am very excited about the upcoming 2018 Summer Youth Olympics to be held in October in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But before that I have qualify for it at the Youth National Qualifiers organized by Athletics Federation of India, in July.”
Kerala’s 16-year-olkd Ancy Sojan carrying on in the tradition of the fine jumpers from her state won two medals on the second day. She grabbed the gold in long jump with a best of 5.80m despite fouling four of her six jumps. She also won a silver in the Girls 200m behind Chanveer Kaur of Punjab, who won in 24.76s, while Ancy clocked 25.31s.
“I am grateful to my parents that they encouraged me to play sport. I am blessed that they were both athletes in their time and I could take to athletics myself,” said Ancy Sojan, who had won four gold in the SGFI National championships in Bhopal, completing the sprint double, long jump and playing a part in the State team’s sprint relay win.
Taking the Girls long jump silver behind Ancy was Sandra Babu, also from Kerala. She jumped 5.68m and it was her second silver, after finishing second in Triple jump a day earlier.