World Athletics U20 meet: India begin with a bronze in 4x400m mixed relay

The Indian quartet of Barath Sridhar, Priya H Mohan, Summy and Kapil clocked 3:20.60 to finish behind champions Nigeria and Poland.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Nitin Arya/ Athletics Federation of India

The Indian 4x400m mixed relay team clinched the bronze medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday.

Having made the final following an impressive run in the morning heats, the Indian quartet of Barath Sridhar, Priya H Mohan, Summy and Kapil built on their performance to clock 3:20.60 for the third place.

Nigeria won the gold in 3:19.70 while Poland took the silver medal in 3:19.80 as the event made its debut at the age-group meet.

Priya H Mohan, meanwhile, capped off a fruitful day at the Kasarani Stadium by qualifying for the women’s 400m final.

Competing in the individual heats moments after her 4x400m mixed relay heats in the morning session, the 18-year-old Priya H Mohan clocked 53.79 seconds to finish third.

Though only the top two were guaranteed a direct entry into the final, Priya H Mohan’s fast pace helped her clinch one of the two non-direct entries for the medal race.

Also making the final at the World Athletics U20 Championships were the Indian javelin throwers Ajai Raj Singh Rana and Jay Kumar.

The 19-year-old Ajai Raj Singh Rana, who achieved a personal best of 74.75 metres at the 19th National Federation Cup Junior (U20) Athletics Championships earlier this month, sealed his place in the final with a throw of 71.05 metres. The throw placed him sixth on the overall standings. 

Jay Kumar, meanwhile, took seventh place with an attempt of 70.34 metres to make it to the final. 

The direct qualification mark in the men’s javelin throw was set at 73m. But with just four athletes managing the distance, the field for the final was made up by the best performers in the qualifying round.

The opening day of the meet also saw Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal qualify for the final of the men’s shot put.

The 19-year-old Amandeep launched the iron ball to a distance of 17.92 metres to finish 11th in the qualification stage. The qualification mark for the event was set at 19.20m. 

Hammer thrower Vipin Kumar, meanwhile, bowed out following a poor performance in the qualification. Vipin managed a best of 63.17 metres which placed him 20th among the 24 competing athletes.

The World Athletics U20 Championships has a depleted field with the USA, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Germany pulling out due to COVID-19 related concerns.