Bhubaneswar, Jan 28: Reliance Foundation’s young athletes made a big splash at the Khelo India Youth Games in Tamil Nadu by winning as many as six medals, including three golds, two silvers, one bronze and including a silver medal in the overall boys event championship in the sport of athletics. The competition is being held in the state of Tamil Nadu this year.
Of the six Reliance Foundation athletes competing at the Games, as many as five were among the medals. Thrower Ommkar Prasad Nanda led the effort by winning a brace of gold in the shot put and hammer throw event. His best effort in shot put was 18.48m and he also flung the hammer to a distance of 65.08m in a glorious display.
The fast-rising Mohammad Reyan Basha continued to impress by winning gold with a time of 10.81s in the men’s 100m event besides being a part of the Odisha 1000m sprint medley team which won silver, where he was joined by fellow Reliance Foundation athlete Rajendra Sidhu.
Reyan was elated with his display, saying, “I’m happy to win a Gold at this prestigious tournament. This Gold will give me a lot of confidence as I make the transition to the senior level. I would like to thank my coach and the support staff at the Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre. I had gone in with the best possible preparation and this result is a reward for all the hard work we had put in.”
The other two medals were won by Sunita Santa, who claimed bronze in the women’s 2000m steeplechase event where she clocked 7:21.16s and hurdler Sandeep Gond who won silver in the men’s 110m hurdles in an impressive time of 13.89s.
Speaking about the display, Martin Owens, Head Coach at Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre, said, “We had a fantastic Khelo India Youth Games. Our athletes performed fantastically well. Ommkar put in a brilliant effort to win his two Golds in the space of two hours. In between that, Reyan ran a great race to win gold in the 100m. That gave us 3 Golds on the 2nd day of the athletics competition. Sunita ran a heroic race as well and with some more polishing, she should be a top contender for Gold in her event at the Youth National Games. I’m really proud of the effort that all our athletes put in, which resulted in Odisha winning a silver in the overall boys’ championship and the coaches and staff that provided support to the Odisha team. We will take the learnings and look to win Gold next time.”