The Federation Cup is a four-day annual athletics competition held in India. This year’s event took place from June 18 to 21, 2021, at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in Patiala, Punjab. The event serves as a qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics, which is set to start on July 23, 2021. The championship attracted some of the best athletes from India, including Olympic probables, hoping to secure their spot in the Indian squad for the upcoming Games.
The first day of the competition saw a total of 14 events, including heats and finals, with several athletes producing commendable performances. The highlight of the day was Avinash Sable’s record-breaking run in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Avinash, who had already qualified for the Olympics, ran his best time ever in India, clocking 8:20.20, which was a new national record, breaking his previous one of 8:21.37.
In the women’s 100m, Dutee Chand produced a season-best time of 11.17 seconds in the heats, setting herself up as the firm favourite for the final. However, she could not replicate her performance in the final, finishing second behind S Dhanalakshmi, who clocked 11.39 seconds to win the gold. In the men’s 100m, Amiya Kumar Mallick was the winner, clocking 10.57 seconds.
The second day of the event saw several notable performances, with a total of 18 events taking place throughout the day. The highlight of the day was Annu Rani’s impressive throw of 63.24m in the women’s javelin throw, breaking her own national record of 62.34m. Annu had already qualified for the Olympics and would be a strong medal contender at the event.
In the men’s shot put, Tajinderpal Singh won the gold, throwing a distance of 19.99m, while Asian Games gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra, comfortably won the men’s javelin throw, throwing a distance of 83.18m, which was just shy of his Indian record.
The third day of the competition featured a total of 16 events, including heats and finals, with several athletes producing outstanding performances. The highlight of the day was Arokia Rajiv’s triumph in the men’s 400m final, where he clocked 45.53 seconds, beating his nearest rival by over a second.
In the men’s 800m, a total of seven athletes qualified for the final, with the top three runners finishing inside the qualification time for the Olympics. Ajeet Kumar won the gold, clocking 1:49.51, followed by Mohammed Afsal and Ishan Colin Fernandes, who finished second and third, respectively.
The final day of competition had a total of 17 events, including heats and finals, with several athletes hoping to book their place in the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics. The highlight of the day was M Sreeshankar’s win in the men’s long jump, where he produced a jump of 8.26m, which was just shy of his personal best of 8.27m.
In the men’s 200m final, Srinivas Gowda won the gold, clocking 20.75 seconds, while the silver went to Noah Nirmal Tom, who finished just 0.02 seconds behind Srinivas. In the women’s 1500m, Asian Games gold medallist, Chitra PU, won the gold, clocking 4:19.12.
The Federation Cup proved to be a highly competitive event, with several athletes producing outstanding performances, and many booking their place in the Indian squad for the Tokyo Olympics. With the Olympics just around the corner, these athletes will be hoping to continue their good form and bring home medals for India.