India wins their first-ever medal in the U-20 World Athletics Championships 2021. Our athlete’s bags bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay final.
India at U-20 World Athletics Championships 2021
The U-20 World Athletics Championships 2021 commenced on 17th August 2021 at the Nyayo Sports Complex in Nairobi, Kenya.
Also known as the World Junior Championships is an international competition for athletes under twenty years of age or not born earlier than 1st January 2002.
A total of 114 countries qualified this year, with 897 athletes scheduled to participate in the various events. The championships will consist of sports like pole jump, discus throw, long jump, relay races, heptathlon, to name a few.
However, many major countries like the US, China, Great Britain, Japan, Germany etc., will not be participating in the championships this year. The opening ceremony of the championships took place on Tuesday at the Karanani Stadium, also known as the Home of Heroes.
Kunwer Ajai Singh Rana, representing India in men’s javelin throw, was the flag bearer for our country. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, a country could only be represented by five people in the opening ceremony.
Shri Abu Metha, the adviser to Nagaland Chief Minister, who is also the Associate Vice President of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), is appointed the Team Leader of the Indian team and led the team delegation at the opening ceremony.
It is a monumental moment as he is the first person from the northeast to have received this honour and opportunity.
An ICONIC Bronze Win
Represented by 28 athletes this year, India has bagged its first medal in the 4x400m mixed relay team finals. Finishing third, the journey towards reaching the final has been a miraculous one for our athletics.
One of the runners Bharat Sridhar from Viluppuram district in Tamil Nadu, was recovering from a ligament injury in his left ankle. Along with testing positive for Covid-19, there was little hope for him to run in the stadium.
However, with the help of his physiotherapists and coaches, he made it to the championships. Though he did not participate in the 4x400m mixed relay team heats, he was one of the four players to represent the team in the finals.
India clocked at 3:23.36s and was the second-best team overall in the heats race in the morning.
Sridhar ran the first leg of the race in the finals and passed the baton to female athlete Priya Mohan followed by Summy, and Kapil carried out the final baton-run.
With fierce determination and energy, the Indian team outran the Jamaicans, who were in fourth place.
It was a challenging match for the athletes because of the sudden change in the event schedules. The officials reduced the six-day long event to five days because of the impact of Covid-19 and certain logistical matters.
Due to the cramping of events, for the Indian athletes Priya and Sammy, the final event was the third 400m race they had to run for the day.
They had both participated in individual 400m heats before the finals. The quartet completed the race in 3:20.60 seconds, while Nigeria and Poland bagged the gold and silver medals, respectively.
More Indian athletes qualify for the finals.
Priya also qualified for the individual 400m relay final after finishing third in the heats. Her final match will take place on Saturday.
Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal qualifies for the finals in the shot put event with an impressive throw of 17.92m.
Kunwer Ajai Singh Rana and Jay Kumar also entered the finals in the Javelin throw, which will be held on Friday. The bronze medal win has placed Team India in the 6th rank in the medal table.