Pune district amateur athletics competition: Nalini Pillay leaps for glory in under-16 high jump
Nalini Pillay, from the Pune Athletics Club, won the final of the girls under-16 high jump in the Pune District Amateur Athletics Competition at the Balewadi Sports Complex, on Saturday. Pillay nabbed the top spot among five girls, out of which four, including Pillay, were from the same academy.
Mukta Birwakar from Jnana Prabodhini Navanagar Vidyalaya could only manage a second place finish on a day which saw heavy rainfall engulf the stadium. The session had to be stopped five minutes after commencement due to rain. The participants who had just warmed up returned to the stands and had wait for the weather to get better.
After a 15 minute-long interval, the competition restarted. The bar was initially set at a height of 1.05m as two competitors, Simran Agarwal and Jui Palaskar, failed to leap over it without knocking it.
Bhargavi Dhamal was the next one to be eliminated after knocking the bar down from a height of 1.15m in all her three attempts, while Pillay and Birwakar required two out of their three attempts each to clear the round and advance.
With the bar set at 1.21m, Pillay required two attempts yet again, but managed to complete her jump without knocking the bar down in the second try. Birwakar needed three attempts to clear this jump as the youngster struggled for grip under the rain.
In her third and final attempt, Birwakar managed to complete a clean jump to take the game to the next level. The bar was raised and set at 1.24m as Birwakar required three attempts yet again. Only this time, the outcome was different as she couldn’t complete a clean leap and knocked the bar over on all three occasions.
Pillay failed to get a clean jump in her first two attempts, but finally propelled herself into the number one spot after a successful leap in her third and final attempt of the day. Considering the surface and climatic conditions the girls had to face, it was a great victory for Nalini Pillay.
The girls from the Pune Athletics Club, who train at the Sanas ground, mentioned that they weren’t specifically worried about the rain. Even though the session had to be interrupted right after it started, they kept their head in the game and were focused, especially Pillay.
Nalini Pillay (Winner – Girls U-16 High Jump): “The session stopped after the first attempt and looking at the weather, I thought the rain would never stop. But thankfully, it reduced and I came first. I was focused even during the break, so the situation did not bother me.”
Mukta Birwakar (Runner-up – Girls U-16 High Jump): “The only cause of concern was the lack of grip due to the rain. I lost my balance in a couple of attempts because of that. Apart from that, I was happy with my performance.”
1. Nalini Pillay 1.24m, 2. Mukta Birwakar 1.21m, 3. Bhargavi Dhamal 1.15m, 4. Jui Palaskar 1.05m, 4. Simran Agarwal 1.05m