It was in style that the two-time Asian Championship medallist Jinson Johnson of Kerala broke Sriram Singh’s four-decade-long national record to clinch the men’s 800m title in the National Inter-State Athletics Championships.
Breaking records isn’t something new for Johnson, who broke the 1,500 metres National Record in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
In the 800 metres race, he timed 1:45.65, a full 12 seconds more than Singh. The former had also come close to the record the latter set in the Montreal Olympics on July 25th, 1976, by timing 1:45.98 in Bengaluru before the 2016 Rio Olympics.
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At this event, all top four finishers came well within the Asian Games qualifying 1:47.50 mark.
It was a well-planned race for Johnson, who took the lead after 500 metres, staying ahead at a good pace despite stiff competition from Manjit Singh, Mohammed Afsal and Beant Singh, especially in the final 200 metres.
Johnson was happy about the record that he had broken. Originally, he wanted to target the same record in 2016, but couldn’t do so, and trained well to qualify for the Asian Games.
The athletics fraternity is quite a small one, as Johnson reveals that interestingly, Sriram, is a member of the National Selection Committee.
(Edited by: Gayatri Mishra)