| Northís Arun Patel, who broke the javelin national record, in action at Salt Lake Stadium on Monday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: Three national records were created on the first day of the 14th national inter-zonal athletics championships at the Salt Lake Stadium Monday. It was also a day in which sheer negligence of officials cost East Zone a medal in the 4x100m menís relay in the under-20 category.
Arun Patel of North created the national record in the under-16 boysí category of the javelin with a throw of 64.73m, eclipsing the earlier of 62.80m. Trinath P. of South created another national record in the 800m for under-16 boys with a timing of 1:56:31, eclipsing the existing time of 1:56.60.
Saraswati of South Zone broke the third national mark of the day with a throw of 42.40m in javelin for girls under-18. The existing mark was 38.98m.
Just before the 4x100m menís relay in the under-20 category, it was noticed that the chest numberís of Chandan Mahato and Sudam Mardi of Jharkhand and Mausafur Mug Chowdhury of Assam could not be found.
As per statutes, the East Zone team, a potential medal prospect, was scratched.
When asked about the mishap, the Jharkhand officials put the blame on the Bengal manager, and the Bengal team management was prompt to put it back on the Jharkhand officials. North Zone won the race clocking 43.92 seconds, while South Zone came second and West finished third.
The meet, meanwhile, was delayed by more than two hours as the medical check-up of the athletes was done just before the start. A number of athletes failed the medical tests, though the officials did not confirm the exact number.
Girls: Anjali Shee (EZ, long jump U-18), Anju Kumari (EZ, 200m U-20), Sinimole Paulose (SZ, 800m U-20), Anita Patel (NZ, javelin U-16), Alka Chikli (SZ, long-jump U-16), Kalyani Chatia (EZ, javelin U-20), Mallika Mondal (EZ, high-jump U-18), Vigila KZ (SZ 400m hurdles U-20), Sushmita Singha Roy (EZ high-jump U-20)
Boys: Ashok Tewari (NZ, hammer-throw U-20), Himania (WZ, 100m hurdles U-16), Sk Nisar Ali (EZ, high-jump U-18), Gurkirt Singh (NZ, javelin throw U-18), Bhagirath (NZ javelin throw U-20), Mintu Ahlauq (NZ, hammer throw U-18), Nahid Khan (NZ hammer throw U-16), Aruna Kumari K (SZ 200m U-18), Sudam Mardi (EZ 200m U-20), Vishal Saxena (NZ 200m U-18), Harikrishna Roy (EZ high-jump U-20), Apparao K (SZ, 800m U-18)
Zutshi Indian coach
Former Asian Games gold medallist Geeta Zutshi has been chosen as one of the track coaches of the junior Indian team. She will be in charge of East Zone, with the base being Calcutta. She has got this appointed for three months, a contract that can be renewed.
The national athletics federation is also planning to rope in coaches from the Ukraine and Belarus for the junior teams.
It was told that some coaches who are currently with the senior team, will be asked to stay back with the juniors after the Pusan Asian Games.
Meanwhile, the junior Indian team will take part in the Asian Junior Championships to be held in Bangkok from October 28 to 31.
The ongoing meet as well as the Federation Cup in Mumbai on October 3 and 4 will be the qualifying tournaments for the track and field events.