In an extraordinary display of resilience, Sunil Kumar, an 18-year-old decathlete, clinched the gold medal in Pole Vault at the Asian U-20 Athletics Championship, despite facing a significant hurdle. Due to “technical issues” with the pole vault’s length, both a South Korean airline and Air India prohibited him from carrying his own pole vault. However, undeterred by this setback, Sunil borrowed a pole vault from the event organizers and went on to secure victory with a remarkable personal best score of 7003 points.
Throughout the grueling ten-event competition, Sunil showcased exceptional talent and determination. He excelled in disciplines such as the 100m hurdles, discus throw, and javelin throw, compensating for a slightly lackluster performance in other events.
The Athletics Federation of India played a crucial role by requesting the organizers to provide Sunil with a pole vault after he finished fourth in the event.
Other Indian athletes also demonstrated their prowess in various disciplines. Pooja secured a silver medal in women’s high jump, clearing a height of 1.82m, while Bushra Khan added to India’s tally with a silver in the women’s 3000m race, clocking an impressive time of 9:41.47s. The Indian women’s 4x100m relay team secured a bronze medal with a commendable time of 45.36s.
The Asian U-20 Athletics Championship has been a platform for emerging Indian talents to shine. On the opening day, Rezoana Mallick Heena claimed a gold medal in the women’s 400m event, while Bharatpreet Singh triumphed in the men’s discus throw. Siddharth Choudhary continued the winning streak by clinching a gold medal in shot put with a personal best throw of 19.52m.