Pole vaulter Rosy Meena and weightlifter Ajith share spotlight with national records

Pole vaulter Rosy Meena Paulraj of Tamil Nadu and state-mate weightlifter N Ajith (73kg class) shared the limelight by shattering national records en route to winning gold medals in the 36th National Games here on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Rosy Meena turned out to be the unlikely star of the athletics competition as she cleared 4.20m to go past VS Surekha’s earlier national mark of 4.15m set in 2014.

Her two Tamil Nadu team-mates, Pavitha Vengatesh and Baranica Elangovan were distance second and third with efforts of 4m and 3.90m respectively.

Ajith, on the other hand, broke the men’s 73kg national record in clean and jerk with a lift of 174kg, bettering Achinta Sheuli’s earlier mark of 173kg. Ajith won gold with a total lift of 315kg (snatch 141, clean and jerk 174).

Birmingham Commonwealth Games gold medallist Achinta of Services took the silver with a total lift of 295kg (130 and 165). B Devapreedhan of Kerala was third with a total lift of 290kg (125 and 165).

In men’s long jump, Jeswin Aldrin of Tamil Nadu beat Commonwealth Games silver medallist Murali Sreeshankar of Kerala for the gold in a high-quality competition to qualify for the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

Aldrin jumped 8.26m in his sixth and last attempt to win the gold and go past the World Championships qualifying mark of 8.25m. He also had two other 8m-plus jumps — 8.07m amd 8.21m.

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