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Nancy Kaushik wins U-14 girls title at Salwan race; overage issue spoils boys’ event

Nancy Kaushik won the U-14 girls title at the Salwan cross country race but the boys’ race was marred by controversies surrounding age fudging.

other sports Updated: Nov 05, 2017 17:49 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Salwan cross country race,Nancy Kaushik,Yogesh Sethi
Nancy Kaushik won the U-14 girls title at the Salwan cross country race.(HT Photo)

Nancy Kaushik would probably have been half asleep when she started her journey early on Sunday morning for Delhi from her native place near Bahadurgarh in Haryana. The 14-year-old was among a group of half-dozen school-going students from the area participating in the Salwan cross country race.

The over one-hour journey to reach the venue in Delhi Cantonment, and the huge gathering at the start, however, didn’t unnerved her as she steadily moved ahead and eventually emerged victorious in the U-14 girls section. It was her first major event, as she took to athletics just 10 months back. “I was surprised to see so many runners at the start and thought, ‘will I be able to win here?’. I didn’t rush into the race but decided to wait and watch,” she said.

However, those thoughts quickly evaporated halfway through the 4.5km race. “I saw the lead bunch slowing down; it was a good opportunity to move upfront,” she said, adding “Nobody challenged me and I went on to win.”

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The age-group competition, in fact, turned out to be a great opportunity for students from Delhi and neighbouring areas to showcase their talent.

It was an equally exciting experience for 18-year-old Yogesh Sethi, who emerged winner in the differently-abled race. After the race, Sethi’s interpreter Deepali Bhatia said, “He trains every day for an hour and sometimes goes beyond 10km. So, the distance of 4.5km was easy for him.”

Niranjan Yadav, a visually-challenged runner from Delhi, had a great time but was slightly disappointed as he wasn’t among the top-20 prize winners. “It was a bit taxing as I had to run and walk but it was good fun,” he said.

Chaotic scene

Organising a competition in eight categories, including two for handicapped students, is certainly a challenge but having the experience of holding 20 editions gives the organisers the edge to handle huge gathering.

This time, however, it wasn’t a seamless affair as chaotic scenes were witnessed at the start of the under-14 boys group race. A false start followed by participants at the back pushing those in front could have caused grievous injuries. Fortunately nothing happened and the race was flagged off again.

The overage issue again reared its head with an under-14 participant, Shanyk Nagar, being disqualified. Overall, 16 athletes, including 10 in under-16 boys group, were disqualified for being overage.

Results

Girls

U-14: Nancy Kaushik (Haryana), Khushi (Delhi), Nagma (Delhi)

U-16: Monika Tomar (Delhi), Shivani Pal (Delhi), Pooja (Delhi).

U-18: Garima (Delhi), Mohani (Delhi), Pooja (Delhi).

Boys

U-14: Aaftab (Delhi), Rustam (Delhi), Rahul Kumar (Delhi)

U-16: Sanjay Kumar (Delhi), Vishal Sherwal (Delhi), Sahil Khal (Delhi)

U-18: Sanjay (Delhi), Rohit Kumar (Delhi), Vivek (Delhi).

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 17:49 IST