You can bet on this son-in-law


One son-in-law from Chennai has dominated the national headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent times. On the last day of the inter-state athletic championship here on Friday, however, another son-in-law made Tamil Nadu proud by winning the triple jump gold with a meet record of 16.98 metres.
You can bet on Renjith Maheshwary to provide drama and he didn’t disappoint with a superb effort in his third jump.
Renjith, a Kerala native, has been representing Tamil Nadu after his marriage to Chennai pole vault champion V.S. Surekha. He provided the final flourish to the four-day event in front of his wife and two-year-old daughter.
Renjith also qualified for August’s World Championship in Moscow (the ‘B’ qualification mark is 16.85m). “I have been preparing intensively for next month’s Asian Championship in Pune. I felt good today. Even though my ambition of breaking the national mark (17.07m) didn’t become a reality, I’m happy that I rewrote the meet record (16.73) besides qualifying for the World Championship,” the champion said.
Renjith, ever the showman, caught the attention of everyone with his antics as well as jumps. He cleared 16.96 in his fifth attempt to prove that he was indeed in fine form on the day. His heir apparent, Punjab’s Arpinder Singh, was second at 16.47, followed by TN youngster Mohammad Salahuddin (15.57).
Barring the feat of the triple jumper, it was a humdrum day. Kerala’s Kunhu Mohammed provided some late entertainment to the crowd — and agony for his team-mates — by dropping the baton a couple of metres before the 400m relay finish, gifting the gold to Jharkhand.
There were two doubles in the women’s section. O.P. Jaisha of Punjab added the 1500m gold to the 5,000m title from the opening day. Having finished third in the 1500m in the last Asian Championship, Jaisha is looking forward to do better over the same distance in Pune.
Another double woman of the meet was West Bengal’s Asha Roy. She completed a sprint double by winning the 200m in 23.59s.
Kerala won the overall championship with 172.5 points ahead of Tamil Nadu (147.5).
The hosts edged out Haryana 79-63.5 for the men’s crown while the Kerala women finished on top with 112.5 points, way ahead of TN’s 68.5.

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