Nairobi, August 22 (IANS) India’s Shaili Singh had a silver medal with a superb jump of 6.59 meters and painfully lacked the gold medal just 1 centimeter in the women’s long jump when the country ended its campaign at the U20 Athletics World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday. , with two silver and one bronze medal. This is India’s best performance ever in the Junior World Cup.
Shaili, who entered the final with the best performance in the qualifying phase with an effort of 6.48 meters, improved his personal best with a superb effort of 6.59 in the women’s long jump final. However, she lost on the gold medal to Swedish Maja Askag, the European junior champion who managed 6.60 meters. Mariia Horielova from Ukraine took the bronze medal with a season best effort of 6.50 meters.
Saili’s silver medal was India’s third medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships 2021 and added silver won by Amit Khatri in the 10,000m men’s and bronze medals of the 4 × 400 Mixed Relay team.
This was India’s best medal ever in the U20 World Athletics Championships and the last few weeks after their best performance ever in seven medals, including a gold, at the Olympics in Tokyo, bodes well for Indian athletics as javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra had won the first gold medal of an Indian at the Olympics in the Japanese capital.
The three medals in Nairobi helped India finish joint 21st with Greece in the medal table as hosts Kenya dominated at home with 16 medals, including eight gold medals. Finland was a clear second with five medals, including four gold, the same as Nigeria, which also had three bronze medals, but had to settle for third place as Finland had also won a silver medal.
The 17-year-old Shaili, who was coached by former long jumper Anju Bobby George and her husband Robert Bobby George at the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Bangalore, had to be content with the silver medal despite a brilliant performance in Nairobi, where she improved his personal best twice, once to qualify for the final (6.48) and then in the final – 6.59 meters.
In the final on Sunday, Shaili had taken the lead with a jump of 6.59 m on her third jump, and it looked like India would eventually win the gold medal it has wanted the last few days, but Sweden’s Maja cleared 6 , 60 on her fourth jump and took the gold medal as Shaili committed her next two attempts and could only manage 6.37 meters in the sixth and final jump. Maja had also won the woman in triple jump gold earlier in the championships.
Shaili had started with an identical 6.34 in his first two jumps, but came up with the big jump in the next attempt to jump in the lead.
Her brilliant performance excited the gold medal winner in Tokyo at the Olympics, Chopra, when he tweeted: “Congratulations, Shaili! You came so close to gold today and I’m sure you have a long way to go (emoticon: Flexible biceps). Congratulations to
@ anjubobbygeorg1 lady for your mentorship and guidance to Shaili (emoticon: Folded hands). ”
Also on Sunday, the women’s 4 × 400 relay team missed the bronze as it finished in fourth place with a season-best timing of 3: 40.45 in the final. Payal Vohra, Summy, Rajitha Kunja and Priya Mohan included the Indian quartet in the 4 × 400 relay, which had conceded a big lead after two legs as it finished behind Nigeria (3: 31.46), Jamaica (3: 36.57 ) and Italy (3: 37.18), as the Nigerians won by a large margin after taking an early lead.
Among the other Indians on Sunday, Ankita finished eighth among 10 participants in the women’s 5000m final with a timing of 17: 17.68. Ethiopia won gold and silver medals as Mizan Alem and Mizan Alem finished in 16: 05.61 and 16: 13.16 minutes with Prisca Chesang from Uganda taking bronze in 16: 31.78 minutes.