PALA : It rarely happens that a less talked about athlete walks away with all the glory. That precisely
happened on Day Two of the 61st State Schools Athletics Championship at the Municipal
Stadium here on Saturday.As persisting showers threatened to wash away the sheen of competition, the setting demanded someone come good and light up the day. And Sandra Babu of Mathirappilly GVHSS was destined to rise up to the occasion.
The trainee of T P Ouseph leapt 6.07m in her penultimate attempt to wrest gold from defending national schools champion Ancy Sojan of Nattika Government Fisheries HSS. Sandra’s national record-bettering effort in the junior girls’ long jump was one of two new marks created on the day. The other meet mark was penned by Nattika Government Fisheries HSS’s Athulya P A, who registered 37.49m in the junior girls’ discus throw.
Sandra was happy to break the 6m mark and said her next target would be to clear 6.30m. “I will be very happy if I can jump 6.30m,” she said.Her coach termed Sandra as an ‘unfinished product’. “We have put only 30 percent load on her. The remaining 70 will be diligently applied over the next seven years. That will be when she can be called as a complete package,” Ouseph said.
The morning session saw Palakkad’s supremacy in the race-walk events as they pocketed eight out of 12 medals. This surge put them ahead in the points tally, taking a slender lead over inaugural day leaders Ernakulam. Anstin Joseph Shaji of SAI, Thiruvananthapuram and Aparna Roy of St Joseph’s HS, Pulloorampara emerged the fastest athletes in the senior category. Anstin staved off Ernakulam’s Nibin Baiju’s challenge to breast the tape in 11.04s while Aparna pipped Nibha KM of SAI, Thiruvananthapuram to gold in 12.49s.
However, Ancy Sojan in the junior girls’ 100m clocked a better time than Aparna romping home in 12.45s. Mar Basil’s Anumol Thambi, Maneed’s Sreekanth KM, Anandhu Vijayan of St John’s HS, Eraviperoor and Alex P Thankachan of St George’s HSS completed golden doubles.