Shraddha Ghule created a new Commonwealth Youth Games record with a final jump of 13.11 metres to win the triple jump title. Her compatriot Gayathri Govindharaj also improved on the earlier record (12.78m) to win silver while Australia’s Ainsley Ackerman bagged the bronze.
“I was very tense before the final jump. But instead of thinking of the medal, I told myself I should touch the 13m target that I had set myself,” said the elated 17-year-old.
The effort is all the more commendable considering the first year B. Com student started working on triple jump a year ago. “I used to do 100m and long jump but when I realized I was doing well in triple jump, I opted to skip 100m,” said the trainee of Thane’s Dynamo Sports Club.
Shraddha shifted base to Thane after class 10 to concentrate on her track and field career and said the decision changed her approach. “Earlier, I used to run because I liked it. But then once I came to Thane, it was a totally different approach.”
She won the National School Games triple jump gold in January and then went on to win a few zonal meets before being selected for the national camp. “The gold here will only spur me to achieve bigger goals,” she added.
Golden day for Indian athletes
The final day of athletics also turned out to be a golden day for the Indians as they bagged four gold, four silver and two bronze to finish with a tally of six gold, seven silver and six bronze.
Krishan Nand Tripathi and Rohit Kumar completed an Indian one-two in javelin while the women and men’s 4x400m relay teams bagged gold to sign off on a high.
Tripathi created a new Games record with a throw of 71.52m and Rohit also improved on the earlier mark of 67.21m by .39m to bag silver. The men’s relay teams pulled off a coup with Praveen Kumar, running the last leg, overtook sprinters from South Africa and New Zealand to win gold in a record time of 3:13.32.
The women’s team had a relatively easy outing and won with a timing of 3:42.02 sec.