Reliance Foundation Conducts Performance Graded Races 2022-23 To Help Athletes Prepare For Nationals

Having completed the phase II internal Performance Graded Races, Reliance Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Youth Sports Govt. of Odisha and the Odisha Athletic Association conducted Performance Graded Races 2022-23 on Sunday, September 4.

The competition was planned by Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre (HPC) and its primary focus was to help offer both HPC and other athletes competitive opportunities to showcase their talent and measure improvement as they prepare for upcoming national-level competitions. As many as 322 enthusiastic youngsters participated in the competition, which had a total of 17 events.

"A lot of hard work and collaboration between Reliance Foundation, the Department of Youth Sports Govt. of Odisha & the Odisha Athletic Association, made a successful PGR at the Kalinga Stadium. Fantastic to see the popularity of the meeting. Building on the previous PGRs, 322 came to compete in 17 events," Head Coach of Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre, Martin Owens said after the successful completion of the Performance Graded Races 2022-23.

"There was massive participation in sprints, 8 heats in 100m, 9 heats in 400m, 7 heats in 200m with some great performances across the meet. Besides two athletes who have represented India at one CWG and one World Juniors & two national record holders, there were hundreds of young athletes starting their athletics journey. Tremendous hard work from the HPC staff, officials, volunteers, and many others made an outstanding day of athletics," he added.

Quite a few HPC athletes stood out with their outstanding performances in their respective events. HPC's Amlan Borgohain, Jyothi Yarraji, Lalu Prasad Bhoi, Aryan Ekka, Moumita Mondal, Nitish Kullu, and Graceson Jeeva all clocked impressive times in their respective events. Amlan Borgohain finished with a time of 10.53 seconds in the 100m and 21.37 seconds in the 200m, while Jyothi Yarraji completed the 400m hurdles in 59.92 seconds.

Lalu Prasad Bhoi wasn't too far behind his fellow HPC athlete Amlan Borgohain in the 100m race as he clocked a time of 10.71 seconds, while Aryan Ekka finished his 100m race in 10.93 seconds. Moumita Mondal needed just 14.16 seconds to complete the 100m hurdles. Nitish Kullu outperformed the national record with a mind-blowing timing of 10.79 seconds, setting a new personal best in 80m hurdles.

A couple of other HPC athletes who performed admirably in their respective events were Graceson Jeeva and Rajendra Sidhu. While Graceson Jeeva completed the 110m hurdles in 14.15 seconds, Rajendra Sidhu finished the 80m hurdles in 10.54 seconds. Among the new HPC athletes, the performances of Abhinash Sahu and Swagat Kumar Behera grabbed some eyeballs. Abhinash Sahu finished the 100m in 10.92 seconds and the 200m race in 22.25 seconds. Swagat Kumar Behera, meanwhile, had a successful triple jump of 14.80m. Moumita and Graceson had a race-off in their respective distances, and Moumita won by one-hundredth of a second with a race timing of 13.92 seconds.

10 events featured sprinting or running in the Performance Graded Races 2022-23. These included the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, and 5000m races besides the 2000m and 3000m steeplechase along with the 80m, 100m, 110m, and 400m hurdle races. The other seven events in the competition were long jump, high jump, triple jump, hammer throw, shot put throw, discus throw, and javelin.

The format for the competition had an open-graded structure where athletes were seeded according to their personal bests irrespective of age and/or sex. All athletes also got accurate electronic timings to get a concrete idea of their improvement as a photo finish was used for all the races.

The competition, in fact, entirely adopted an athlete-centric approach. For example, all short sprints and hurdle races were 'wind sprints' which essentially means that they were run with the wind acting favorably for the athletes to ensure optimal conditions for them.

Needless to say, the Performance Graded Races 2022-23 was yet another successful initiative taken by Reliance Foundation. It's just the latest in a long list of special events, competitions, and workshops that the Foundation regularly conducts to nurture and holistically develop aspiring athletes, which enables them to perform at their optimal condition.


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