Still banking on the immense success of the first season of RFYS Athletics, 4th September 2018 marked the day when Lucknow and Chennai became the first two cities to inaugurate the second season of RFYS Athletics in 2018-19. In its second outing this year, everything from the cities, participants and the performance, propelled up a notch. New records were made, expectations were exceeded but the most significant revelation so far has been the talent that has been uncovered in the past two months.
A good start makes for a better finish
Mohd Akram from Guru Gobind Singh College, Lucknow, took just 10.77s to complete a fantastic run in the Senior Boys category and paved the way for many more athletes to follow suit. After him, another sprinting marvel from Bengaluru going by the name Neole Cornelio, a 13-year-old from St Francis Xaviers Girls High School, surpassed the U-14 National Record by clocking 12.72s in the 100m Final – a first ever feat in RFYS Athletics since it began in 2017. Another storm was rising in Kolkata, where Shashi Singh from Charuchandra College repeated his feat from last year and clinched Gold in the 800m and 1500m final. Already a winner in the City and National Championship from RFYS 2017-18, he came back and proved himself as a prominent winner for the second year in a row. The expansion of the tournament to six new cities proved beneficial as more upcoming athletes from the country got a platform to showcase their incredible talent. The country, on the other hand, found hidden gems in the form of these athletes who, if nurtured properly, can bring laurels for this country at the world stage.
AEC 2018 – An instrumental program
Speaking of nurturing talent, RFYS came up with the Athletics Elite Camp this year in a bid to promote and nurture top talent and give them the apparatus to make a successful career in Track and Field. Top athletes gathered in Bengaluru and attended the Athletics Elite Camp 2018, which was spearheaded by RFYS along with Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and highly certified coaches who implanted various knowledge to the athletes during the course of the 5-day camp. The impact this camp had on the athletes was massive, and it was quite evident during RFYS Athletics City Championship 2018-19. Aadarsh Ram, an athlete from Chennai took the leap in the College Boys High Jump category and improved his performance from the previous year to win a well-deserved Gold medal. Daneshwari Thakkannavar’s fortune changed and so did her Silver medal from RFYS 2017-18 National Championship when she won Gold in the Bengaluru City Championship 2018-19 after attending the AEC. A number of other athletes’ excelled and improved their performances after attending AEC 2018 in Bengaluru. The constant exposure to world class coaches, nutrition habits and the mental conditioning sessions left a footprint that was long lasting. The Elite Athletes learned the importance of honing technique and improving overall fitness, which meant one must improve the way they eat, think and the way they work to improve their timings and turn the Silver medals into Gold.
The final showdown
This edition of RFYS Athletics National Championship will commence from 14th of November and go on till the 16th of November in the city of Mumbai. The best of the best from 14 cities will travel to India’s financial capital and compete against each other in a bid to become RFYS National Champion. The three-day meet will witness talent clashing against technique and grit against resolution. The stage is set for a final showdown in Mumbai and judging by the happenings of the past two months, it promises to be a thrilling end to the 2018-19 RFYS Athletics journey.