National Junior Athletics: Devansh breaks boys’ U-16 national discus throw record, Shaili wins long jump gold

Punjab’s Devansh Jagga produced a sensational performance to break the national record in the under-16 discus throw competition at the 37th AFI National Junior Athletics Championships here on Friday.

Devansh, a 10th standard student from the border town of Fazilka, broke the national and meet record four times despite facing the challenge of having to throw early in the day and on a circle that took some getting used to.

Fourth last year, Devansh opened with a throw of 55.02m to get the records and improved that with 55.03m on his third visit, 55.98m on the fifth and 57.01m on the final attempt at the Athletics Stadium in the SAI Regional Centre.

Uttar Pradesh long jumpers Shaili Singh and Nidhi won the U-20 women’s and U-18 girls titles with meet records.

Shaili broke Renu’s meet mark of 6.22m — set in 2018 — with a winning leap of 6.38m on her third attempt, while Nidhi improved on the record of 6.10m — set 21 years ago by Ruta Patkar — with a 6.12m effort on her second try.

“Though I got the national record with my first throw, I was not satisfied with the 55m effort. I had a 58.32m in the state meet and was consistently passing the 56m mark in training. It was only on the last try that my technique fell in place, and I was able to get a 57m throw,” Devansh said.

Delhi’s Ram Narayan Maurya had set the records at 53.17m last year.

Coached by his father Sunil Kumar Jagga, who taught himself the basics of discus throw, and with some long-distance help from coach Gursimran Sandhu, Devansh relied on his flexibility and technique to dominate the competition despite not having the stereotypical strong frame.

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