Anurag Thakur interacts with India’s ‘World 2021 U20 Athletics Championship’Medalists

| Published on:

The Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur interacted with Indian Athletes and medal winners of 2021 World U20 Athletics Championships in New Delhi today. India won three medals including two silver at  the Championships also known as World Junior Championships held from 18th  to 22nd  August 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.Long jump coach Robert Bobby George, Anju Bobby George, Kamal Ali Khan, DG SAI were also present.

In his interaction with athletes of World Youth Championships in New Delhi today, the Sports Minister Shri Anurag Singh Thakur congratulated the medal winners and said that India’s under 20 Athletics Champions have made the country proud. “It is a big moment for us to cherish”, the Minister said. Shri Anurag Thakur expressed confidence that the young athletes will excel in the future international competitions like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games & Olympic Games. “We see a hope in you”, the Minister said.

The Sports Minister applauded the efforts of athletes, the federation and coaches for having shown good performance and won medals inspite of conditions created by Covid-19 pandemic. “Your performance is commendable in the backdrop of Covid-19. These were not easy times, these were not normal times”, the Minister opined.  He exhorted the athletes to think big, plan for the future and prepare for the next level of competition.

Shri Anurag Thakur explained that what is significant is that India has considerable bench strength today, spanning various disciplines in sports and the government is focused on nurturing India’s young athletes and handholding them towards podium finish. The government will ensure all facilities and best training for the athletes to excel in international competitions, and the TOPS as well as training of  elite athletes have been taken up towards this end, he explained. Appreciating the former athletes for coming up in the field of coaching, the Sports Minister urged more such athletes to come forward to handhold young athletes and motivate them. We are open to new ideas and suggestions. When we work together, we can build a robust sporting culture as well as the future, the Minister said.

Mr. Amit Khatri won Silver in 10000m Race Walk. Amit Khatri bravely overcame breathing difficulties to claim a silver medal in the men’s 10000m Race Walk in the World Athletics U20 Championships. Amit Khatri, who kept pace in the leading group much of the time and took the lead at the 9000m mark, clocked 42:17.94 to finish behind Kenya’s HeristoneWanyoni (41:10.84). His frequent visits to the refreshment table to get water – especially the last one with just a lap and a half to go for the finish – could have led him to covering more distance and missing gold.

Ms. Shaili Singh won Silver in Long Jump.Shaili Singh recorded her personal best of 6.59m in the final of the women’s long jump en route to her silver medal. National U20 record holder Shaili Singh was one of three women Long Jumper who secured automatic qualification, set at 6.35m, for the final when she leapt 6.40m on her third attempt.

Mr. Barath Sridhar, Ms. Priya Mohan, Ms. Summy, Mr. Kapil, Mr. Abdul Razak won Bronze in Mixed 4x400m Relays. The Indian 4x400m mixed relay team claimed the bronze medal on the opening day of World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi. Barath Sridhar, Priya Mohan, Summy and Kapil clocked 3:20.60 behind Nigeria (3:19.70) and Poland (3:19.80) to post a creditable time and gave a glimpse of the depth of India’s talent in the quarter mile event.At the 2018 edition of the U20 World Championships in Nairobi, Hima Das had won a gold medal in the women’s 400m.

The Indian quartet – with Abdul Razak Rasheed running the lead leg – had clocked 3:23.36 in the heats in the morning. Priya and Summy ran their women’s 400m heats not long after that. They recovered well to ensure that the efforts of Barath and Kapil, who ran a blistering anchor leg in 46.42 seconds, did not go in vain.

Barath, the Federation Cup Junior Championships winner, was credited with a time of 47.12 for the lead-off leg and handed over the baton to Priya in the second place behind South Africa. Priya dug deep in her reserves and, with a time of 52.77, was the third best among those who ran the second leg. Summy’s kept India in the medal hunt and she ran a good leg in 54.29.

Kapil strove hard on the anchor leg but despite being the fastest of the runners in the final was unable to close the gap with Poland and Nigeria. He was credited with having run his lap in 46.42 seconds, inspired by the efforts of his three team-mates.