Aswin K P of Malappuram and Anju A S of Thiruvananthapuram emerged the fastest male and female athletes of the 57th Kerala State Schools Athletics Championship here on Sunday. Even though the timings were nothing to enthuse about at Maharaja’s College stadium on the second day, both won their respective 100m races in the senior section to claim the coveted honours.
Representing MVMR HSS, Valayamkulam, Aswin -- the current state junior amateur champion -- clocked 10.9 seconds to take the gold. In the girls’ event, SAI’s Anju crossed the line in 12.58 seconds, after staving off tough competition from the Palakkad duo of Anju P M and Nithyamol M. “I am delighted to win the gold medal,” Aswin told reporters. Having finished 12th in the last edition held in Thiruvananthapuram, it was a big effort from the youngster to climb atop the podium within a year.
This is the first time he is winning a medal at the schools’ meet, after having bagged bronze for 200m in the amateur meet. The Kottayam native had moved to Malappuram this year to further his chances under coach Kumar T V at MVMR. “I wanted to work with Kumar ‘Sir’. So, I moved to Malappuram. My aim now is to bring my timing down to 10.7 seconds (the state record),” he said.
Meanwhile, in the junior boys’ event, Rakhil A G of HS, Kalladi, Palakkad, claimed the gold by clocking 11.14 seconds, while Jisna Mathew of Kozhikode’s AMHS, Poovambayi, won the gold with clear air between her and the following pack. It really went down to the wire in the sub-junior girls’ short sprint as Sofia Sunny of Mar Basil HSS, Kothamangalam, and Adithya U of DVHSS, Charamangalam, Alappuzha, competed inch-to-inch from start to finish.
But it was Sofia who was adjudged the winner after a photo finish by a thousandth of a second. Unfortunate to lose the gold in the girls’ category, Alappuzha triumphed in the sub-junior boys’ race as ABV HSS, Muhamma sprinter Rahul Raj K R pipped his rivals after a battle with Wayanad’s Muhammed Illyas.