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Renjith's foul jumps raise questions

Indian athletics and controversy are made for each other. Soon after triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary proved a no show at the London Games — he fouled all three jumps in qualification — eyebrows were raised over his selection for the Olympics.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2012 00:52 IST
HT Correspondent

Indian athletics and controversy are made for each other. Soon after triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary proved a no show at the London Games — he fouled all three jumps in qualification — eyebrows were raised over his selection for the Olympics.


Strangely, the 26-year-old from Kottayam in Kerala was also a non-starter at the world championships at Daegu, South Korea, last year, fouling all his jumps during qualifying in identical fashion.

A 'short-circuit' at the grand stage is nothing new in Indian athletics and the best example is discus Anil Kumar Sangwan, who was a 'no mark (NM)' at the 2004 Athens Games. He was stretchered out after 'injuring a muscle' during qualification, after years of training in Europe.

Though not in recent memory, athletics aficionados will recollect triple jumper of yore, Mohinder Singh Gill, whose three failed attempts at the 1972 Munich Olympics became the talking point, while the country's only world championships medallist, long jumper Anju Bobby George, met with a similar fate at the Beijing Games.

However, Renjith's 'no mark' has given rise to speculation as to whether the athlete was fully fit, especially since he had not taken part in any competition since London qualification in May.

An Athletics Federation of India (AFI) official on condition of anonymity said Renjith was both mentally and physically unfit for the Games. Sources said that doubts were raised about the fitness of Renjith, woman triple jumper Mayookha Johny and marathon runner Ram Singh Yadav by government officials during an AFI meeting in mid-July.

While Yadav, reportedly, agreed and proved his fitness in front of AFI officials in a southern city, the other two, since they were training in Europe, did not come.