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Reliance Foundation Athletes Shine at 27th National Federation Senior Athletics Competition

Bhubaneswar: The 27th National Federation Senior Athletics Competition witnessed outstanding performances from Reliance Foundation athletes, with numerous personal bests and podium finishes highlighting the event.

Animesh Kujur, a 20-year-old sprinter from the Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Center, delivered a stellar performance by achieving personal bests in both the 200m and 100m sprints. Kujur clocked 20.62 seconds in the 200m and 10.50 seconds in the 100m, making him the second-fastest 200m sprinter in Indian history, behind fellow Reliance Foundation athlete Amlan Borgohain.

Reflecting on his achievement, Kujur said, “I worked hard to reach this timing. This is not just my win but also a victory for my coach, Martin Owens. I believed that if I made a perfect start, I would own the race. The target is to breach the Olympic qualification mark.” Kujur is set to shift his training base to Europe for upcoming international competitions.

Several other Reliance Foundation athletes also set personal bests at the competition. Pragyan Sahu (Silver) and Moumita Mondal (Bronze) achieved their best times in the women’s 100m hurdles, clocking 13.40 seconds and 13.64 seconds, respectively. Moumita Mondal displayed remarkable resilience by winning two bronze medals on the same evening.

Ashok Dandasena qualified for the 1500m finals with a personal best of 3:46.49 seconds, although he narrowly missed the podium. Young athlete Laxmipriya Kisan continued her improvement, setting personal bests in both the 800m and 1500m events.

Martin Owens, Head Coach at the Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre, praised the athletes’ performances. “It was an excellent campaign, and the athletes exceeded our expectations. Very proud of Ramandeep Kaur, who showed a lot of grit and overcame a fever to win bronze in the 400m hurdles. Pragyan put in another commanding performance and is looking very good. We had a lot of personal bests too, with Animesh leading the way,” he said.

The competition saw a gold rush for Reliance Foundation throwers. Ramandeep Kaur clinched bronze in the women’s 400m hurdles with a timing of 1:01.29 seconds. In the 5000m event, RF endurance program athletes swept the podium, with Sawan Barwal winning gold (13:51.01 seconds), Harmanjot Singh securing silver (13:51.61 seconds), and Kiran Matre taking bronze (13:52.62 seconds). Mohammed Afsal also won bronze in the men’s 800m event with a timing of 1:50.44 seconds.

In the field events, Moumita Mondal earned her second bronze medal in the long jump with a leap of 6.18 meters. High jumper Swadhin Majhi won silver by clearing 2.09 meters. Damneet Singh struck gold in the hammer throw with an effort of 66.28 meters, while discus thrower Nidhi Rani also grabbed gold with a throw of 52.55 meters.

Reliance Foundation athletes dominated the women’s hammer throw event, with Harshita Sehrawat clinching gold (59.1 meters) and Tanya Chaudhary winning silver (56.51 meters). In pole vault, Rosy Meena and Baranica Elangovan delivered gold and silver with efforts of 4.05 meters and 4.00 meters, respectively.

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