THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Triple jumper Sanal Scaria's career has been marred by injuries for the better part of a year now. But that hasn't stopped the 20-year-old from setting a new meet record at the 61st Kerala state senior athletics championship which concluded at the Chandrasekharan Nair here on Wednesday.
A sophomore at Mar Athanasius College in Kothamangalam, Sanal recorded 15.98 metres to win the gold and rewrite the meet record set by Robin M Varghese who leapt 15.85 metres in the 2001 state meet. And veteran coach T P Ouseph felt the youngster holds a lot of promise and can touch the 17-metre mark soon.
"Sanal is 6 feet 2 inches tall and has the flexibility and mobility ideal for a triple jump athlete. But there is still plenty of scope for improvement especially when it comes to his running technique and body positioning," said Ouseph who has been training Sanal full time since he joined MA College from Kalladi High School, Palakkad.
"He has been gradually improving his mark. He recorded 14.99 metres at the 2015 school nationals and then improved it to 15.47 metres at the National junior athletics championship at Coimbatore in 2016," said Ouseph. However, his latest record-breaking jump has come as a surprise to even the athlete himself.
"You could say I am still not 100 per cent fit. I had only returned to full training a month ago and did not go through my full run up even on Wednesday. So, it was a pleasant surprise to break the record," said Sanal who credits Ouseph for his improving levels.
"I used to train under him even when I was doing my 12th standard. But ever since I switched to MA College, I have made changes to my technique and my performances have been improving," said Sanal. The youngster will now hope to be on the podium at the 57th national inter-state athletics championship to be held at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh from July 15 to 18.