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Tamil Nadu’s T Santosh Kumar Strikes Gold in Low Hurdles at National Federation Senior Athletics Competition

Bhubaneswar: The 27th National Federation Senior Athletics Competition kicked off with a thrilling start as Tamil Nadu’s T Santosh Kumar claimed the first gold medal on the opening day at the illustrious Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday. Clocking a commendable time of 50.04 seconds in the international low hurdles event, Santosh Kumar showcased his prowess on the track, setting the tone for an action-packed competition ahead.

Despite the ideal weather conditions following overnight rain, the 25-year-old Asian bronze medalist fell short of his personal target of breaking the 50 seconds barrier. “I had planned to break the 50 seconds barrier here in Bhubaneswar. But something went wrong somewhere,” expressed Santosh Kumar in the post-event interaction.

Having previously clocked 49.09 seconds to clinch bronze at the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok, Santosh Kumar remains optimistic about achieving his goal of improving his global ranking and qualifying for the Paris Olympic Games slated to commence in July. “I will compete in Taiwan at the end of this month. Hopefully, I will be able to achieve my goal,” he affirmed.

Meanwhile, Asian Games medalist Vithya Ramraj of Tamil Nadu faced disappointment as she withdrew from the race citing back pain, leaving Punjab’s Veerpal Kaur to clinch the gold in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 59.43 seconds. Reflecting on her performance, Kaur expressed her satisfaction but acknowledged missing her target of 58 seconds.

In other events, West Bengal’s Lilly Das marked a spectacular debut in the women’s 5,000m race, securing gold by a commanding margin of 250m, while Kerala’s Gokul KR led the grueling decathlon at the end of day one with 3665 points.

The day’s results also saw Madhya Pradesh’s Dev Kumar Meena triumphing in the pole vault event with a height of 5.10m, and Andhra Pradesh’s Rashmi K emerging victorious in the javelin throw with a distance of 54.75m.

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