KOZHIKODE: The 59th Kerala State School Athletic Meet held in the district entered the glowing history sheets of school meets after young athletes and schools vied spiritedly for top honours. Crowd participation too provided immense colour to the meet. In the four-day event, 20 meet records were broken in which 13 athletes bettered national records while one equalled the national mark. Unlike in many past editions, champions could not decided before the last day. When the moment came, Mar Basil HSS, Kothamangalam, surged to top with a photo finish.
Ernakulam has been the district to beat in the previous meets, and this franchise of the competition too offered no exception. Just that they had to face stiff competition from Palakkad.
Kerala State Sports Council President Anju Bobby George opined that the meet was a perfect leaping pad for upcoming talents. Anju encouraged the athletes to bag Olympic and World Athletic Championship medals, honours she herself and P T Usha missed narrowly. Dhronacharya awardee coach K P Thomas also gave thumbs up to meet. “When compared to other meets, this edition infused a new spirit to the athletes. The organising was good,” he said. The perfomance of GVHSS Mathirappilly, GFHSS Nattika and HSS Parli was another silverlining. “This time we lacked good long distance runners and this destroyed our chances to clinch the title,” said P G Manoj, coach of HSS Parli. Parli took 86 points with 12 gold, six silver and eight bronze, pushing Palakkad to second with 225 points. However, Manoj expressed confidence that they would clinch the title next year.