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  Renjith Maheswary’s giant leap of faith

Renjith Maheswary’s giant leap of faith

Published : Jul 11, 2016, 11:47 pm IST
Updated : Jul 11, 2016, 11:47 pm IST

Half-miler Jinson Jhonson (left) celebrates with coach Mohammed Kunhi after securing his Rio berth on Monday. (Photo: Asian Age)

11ATH1 1.jpg
 11ATH1 1.jpg

Half-miler Jinson Jhonson (left) celebrates with coach Mohammed Kunhi after securing his Rio berth on Monday. (Photo: Asian Age)

India’s contingent for the Rio Games swelled with three more athletes — triple jumper Renjith Maheswary, sprinter Dharambir Singh and half-miler Jinson Johnson — booking their tickets for the Olympics on the final day of the Indian Grand Prix here on Monday.

 

The ever-cheerful Kerala athlete Maheswary leapt a stunning distance of 17.30m in his fourth attempt at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium to make his third consecutive Olympics. En route to his qualification, Maheshwary bettered Arpinder Singh’s national record of 17.17m and also crossed the qualification mark of 16.85m by a huge margin.

Sprinter Dharambir clocked 20.45 seconds in the 200m to better his own national record of 20.66s clocked at the Asian Championships last year. The Rohtak-born Dharambir became the first Indian men’s athlete to qualify for the 200m race at the Olympics in 36 years.

The last man to compete was Perumal Subramaniam at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

 

Meanwhile, Kerala’s Johnson qualified in the men’s 800m after 32 years with a timing of 1:45.98s which is a fraction of a second from the qualification mark of 1:46.00s. The last male sprinter to qualify in the 800m race was Charles Borromeo at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

An ecstatic Maheshwary said, “Here, my first jump turned out to the season’s best (16.56m). From then on, I improved my distance. The track has good speed, weather and thankfully no rain. Thanks to AFI and coaches at the SAI during the national camp for helping me.

“I was around 16.40m in most of the events. I made small mistakes even in Thailand with three faults,” added Maheshwary, who eventually bagged gold at the Thailand Open Track and Field Championship earlier this month.

 

Maheshwary recovered from a lower abdomen injury three weeks before the 56th national inter-state senior athletics championships in Hyderabad. “My aim will be to repeat this feat in Rio,” he claimed.

N.V. Nishad Kumar’s ward Maheshwary hopes to train in Thailand before departing to Rio.

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru