HPC athletes dazzle at 33rd East Zone Junior Athletics Championship in Patna

The 33rd East Zone Junior Athletics Championships took place at the Patliputra Sports Complex in Kankarbagh, Patna from September 10 to 12. The three-day athletic meet-up featured plenty of racing events of varying distances and other athletic disciplines across numerous age groups. 




One of the lasting themes of the 33rd edition of this athletic meet-up though will be how plenty of talents from Reliance Foundation Odisha Athletics High-Performance Centre (HPC) shone over three days in a competition that had some of the most exciting young sportspersons from the east of India in the zonal level competition.


While there were plenty of HPC athletes that dazzled with their performance, no one caught the eye more with their displays than young newcomer Ommkar Prasad Nanda. After being spotted in a Performance Graded Races (PGR) competition in March, HPC’s Ommkar has taken massive strides in terms of his development as an athlete in the past few months albeit under testing circumstances that saw him having to navigate through rough waters.


Ommkar’s coach played a major role in his development. After concluding that Ommkar wasn’t progressing as much as he could under his tutelage, his coach felt that it was in the best interest of the athlete to join the RF Odisha Athletics HPC. When Ommkar first arrived for trial at HPC in July, he looked in pretty poor condition, to put things mildly.


However, several tests as well as the physio and the S&C team working in tandem helped Ommkar overcome his initial issues. Most of the credit for him overcoming all the obstacles lies with Ommkar, who threw himself into the process of improving with unbridled enthusiasm. A great listener who’s quick to absorb feedback and then channel it to positive action, Ommkar’s enthusiasm for betterment was so infectious that the staff enjoyed working with him as well.


Eventually, all of Ommkar and the staff’s hard work and determination paid off at the 33rd East Zone Junior Athletics Championships in Patna where the youngster bagged two gold medals. He earned gold after a personal best attempt of 62.18m in the hammer throw and a 17.34m shot put effort. Needless to say, his trial has been a successful one, and Ommkar’s only likely to get better as he continues his development at HPC to win medals at the National Championships.


Like Ommkar, another new HPC athlete that impressed at the 33rd East Zone Junior Athletics Championships in Patna was Swagat Behera, who won silver with a triple jump of 14.51m. Having said that, perhaps the most spectacular achievement at the athletics meet-up belonged to Sabita Toppo, an athlete who has been with HPC for a while now.


Her effort of 5.79m at the competition - which was close to her personal best - didn’t just help her take home the gold medal but also saw her qualify for the Youth Asian Games for which the qualifying standard is 5.73m. She also won gold in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.5 seconds and clinched a sliver in the 1000m medley relay.


Several HPC athletes, in fact, also achieved their personal best records at the 33rd East Zone Junior Athletics Championships to mark their development in recent months. A few of them include Susmita Tigga who finished with a personal best time of 4:48.72 seconds in the 1500m, while Aryan Ekka clocked a time of 10.8 seconds in the 100m to clinch gold, just ahead of Abhishek Dalabehera, who claimed silver with a time of 10.92 seconds in the 100m.


Mahendra Santa also set his best-ever time in the 100m at 11.05 seconds. Three other athletes who bagged silver medals by achieving their personal bests at the athletic meet-up are Jamuna Tuddu with a 5.40m long jump, Maitreyi Parulekar with a javelin throw of 31.74m, and Nitish Kullu, who completed the 80m hurdles in 10.96 seconds. Subham Behera is another athlete who set his personal best record after clocking a time of 6:29.71 in the 2000m steeplechase.


Following the completion of another successful athletic meet-up that’s certain to instill confidence and experience for all athletes, the future looks bright with endless possibilities for these youngsters thanks to Reliance Foundation's steadfast commitment to nurturing and developing aspiring sportspersons holistically.


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