The 19th Federation Cup held at the Mangalam Stadium in Mangaluru, from the 1st to 4th May, brought some good news for Indian athletics, despite some low-key performances. The Army pipped defending champions Tamil Nadu for the first spot and amassed a total of 123.5 points, while Tamil Nadu’s second place was cemented with 114 points.
Separately, in the Men’s section, the order of placing saw the Army and Tamil Nadu finish first and second respectively. In the women’s section, it was Kerala and home state Karnataka that grabbed the first and second spot respectively. Kerala won 86 points, while Karnataka bagged 68 points.
Memorable wins: Inderjeet Singh qualifies for Rio Olympics
Inderjeet Singh from Haryana, who qualified for the Rio Olympics, was adjudged the best athlete amongst the men. Srabani Nanda of Odisha was the best athlete amongst the women. Inderjeet Singh’s efforts of shot putting to a distance of 20.65 meters and Srabani Nanda’s completion of the 100 meters sprint in 11.59 seconds saw them being declared as the best athletes in the event.
Nanda also won the gold in the 200 meters, completing the race in 23.67 seconds. Dutee Chand, also from Odisha came second clocking 24.52 seconds, while M.G. Padmini of Karnataka came third with a time of 24.69 seconds.
In the men’s 200 meters category, Dharmbir from Haryana came first clocking a personal best of 20.87 seconds and in the process he also qualified for the Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Wuhan. Manikanda Arumugam from Tamil Nadu came second clocking 21.20 seconds, while Parveen Kumar from Haryana came third with a time of 21.59 seconds.
Machettira Raju Poovamma, who represented Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), bagged the gold in the 400 meters race. This was Poovamma’s fourth consecutive win at the 400 meters. Poovamma’s winning effort of 53.41 seconds also ensured a qualification for the Asian Championships. Arokya Rajeev of Army came first in the men’s 400 meters clocking 46.24 seconds.
In the 800 meters race, Jinson Johnson of Army came first in the men’s category, while Tintu Luka from Kerala claimed the first place in the women’s category. Johnson also won the 1,500 meters, whereas Sushma Devi of Haryana came first in the women’s race in the same category.
Suriya Loganathan of Tamil Nadu and G. Lakshmanan of Army came first in their respective groups in the 10,000 meters. The two contenders had also won the 5,000 meters race for their respective groups on the first day of the athletic meet.
Good numbers for Asian Championships Qualification
Siddhant Thingalaya representing ONGC also qualified for the Asian Championships after his win in the 110 meters hurdles. This was Thingalaya’s fourth straight win in the event. The national record holder clocked 13.92 seconds during his run in the finals, after having qualified for Wuhan during the heats itself with a timing of 13.82 seconds.
Heptathlon events also saw qualifiers for the Asian Championships. Purnima Hembram of Odisha and Liksy Joseph from Kerala qualified for the Wuhan meet, with 5,462 and 5,458 points respectively.
Overall, the Federation Cup saw 25 athletes qualify for the Asian Championships. This number also includes 10 women athletes. Alongside these incredible performances, there were a couple of new records created by Devender Singh and Inderjeet Singh, in shot put and javelin throw respectively. These two Indian athletes received a cash prize of INR 25,000 as recognition for his effort.