Asian Junior Athletics: Jisna clinches gold, Sreesankar wins bronze on comeback


GIFU (Japan), JUNE 085
Quartermiler Jisna Mathew clinched a gold to lead India’s medal charge on the second day of the Asian Junior Athletics Championships here on Friday.
Five other Indian athletes also grabbed a bronze each on Friday as India took their total medal tally on the second day to two gold, one silver and seven bronze.
Mathew, the defending champion, entered the competition as the favourite, clocked 53.26 seconds in the women’s 400m final race to finish well ahead of Dilshi Kumarasinghe of Sri Lanka who clocked 54.03 seconds. Jui-Hsuan Yang of Chinese Taipei took the bronze in 54.74 seconds.
Mathew, a trainee at PT Usha’s Athletics School, has a personal best of 52.65 secs. She has already won a senior Asian Championships bronze medal as well as a gold medal in the 4x400m relay. She was also part of the Indian women’s 4x400m relay teams at the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2017 World Championships in London. Meanwhile, junior national record holder long jumper M Sreeshankar did not come close to matching his personal best of 7.99m but still clinched a bronze medal after clearing a distance of 7.47m. Sreeshankar, who nearly touched the 8m mark at the Federation Cup in Patiala in March, was named in India’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games team but had to undergo a surgery to remove his appendicitis just before the CWG.
Sreeshankar was in fifth place after three attempts before clearing 7.47m in his fourth try to overtake Yu-Tang Lin of Chinese Taipei who had cleared 7.46m. The gold went to Japan’s Yugo Sakai (7.61m) while China’s Keqi Zhou (7.54m) took the silver.
Shot putter Ajay Bhalothia won his second medal at the Asian Junior Championships after having claimed a silver at the 2016 edition. Bhalothia hurled the 6kg iron ball to a distance of 18.22m to finish behind Qatar’s Moaaz Mohamed Ibrahim (18.57m) and South Korea’s Yeo Jinseong (18.25m).


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