Amandeep Dhaliwal, Priya Mohan and Ajai Raj Singh Rana also qualified for the finals of their respective events.

The 2021 World U-20 Athletics Championships started today in Nairobi, Kenya. The opening day was full of action and special focus was on Priya Mohan and Kunwer Ajai Raj Singh Rana. However, the highlight of the day was India’s bronze medal win in the 4×400 mixed relay event. 

Priya Mohan and Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal made their way into the finals of their respective events. In addition to them, the pair of Kunwer Ajai Raj Singh Rana and Jay Kumar also reached the finals in the javelin throw event. Perhaps taking inspiration from Neeraj Chopra could motivate them to deliver a medal later at the multi-sport event.

Here is what happened for Indian athletes on Day 1 of the 2021 World U-20 Athletics Championships:

4x400m Mixed Relay

The Indian team of Priya Mohan, Abdul Razak, Summy and Kapil finished third behind Nigeria and Poland in the mixed 4x400m mixed relay event. The team delivered what is India’s only fifth-ever medal at the World U-20 Athletics Championships. The bronze medal will certainly inspire other athletes from the Indian contingent to follow suit.

The Indian team recorded a time of 3:20.60 while Poland finished with 3:19.80 and Nigeria secured gold with 3:19.70. They have followed in the footsteps of Seema Antil, Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, Neeraj Chopra and Hima Das who have previously won a medal at the World U-20 Athletics Championships.

Men’s Hammer Throw 

Vipin Kumar was the sole representative for India in the men’s hammer throw event. He had a disappointing outing and finished in 20th place. His best attempt was 63.17m in his final throw.

Men’s Shot Put 

Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal was shouldering India’s hopes in the men’s shot put event at the World U-20 Athletics Championships. He registered attempts of 17.92m, 17.75m and 17.90m in his three throws. The best throw of 17.92m ensured a sixth spot in the group, enough for qualifying in the finals. He will play in the finals later in the championships hoping to deliver a medal for India in shot put.

Women’s 400m 

The women’s 400m races were one of the highly anticipated events from the day. India had Priya Mohan and Summy representing the nation in the qualifying heats. Priya, a medal hopeful, secured qualification into the final with a timing of 53.79 seconds. 

Summy, however, was not as fortunate. Her timing of 55.43 was not enough to secure a spot in the finals. She will hope her compatriot Priya can spring up a surprise and deliver a medal in the finals of the women’s 400m race at the World U-20 Athletics Championships. 

Men’s Javelin Throw 

The duo of Kunwer Ajai Raj Singh Rana and Jay Kumar reached the final of the men’s javelin throw event at the World U-20 Athletics Championships . The pair will have a chance to secure more medals for India at the finals. Jay Kumar threw a distance of 70.34m and Ajai Rana threw the javelin 78.02m. The qualification mark was 73.00m and Rana surpassed it easily while breaking the U-20 national record.

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