Renjith's Olympic tour ends with a humiliating defeat

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Beiijing, Aug 18: In an amazing display of consistent below par performances, yet another Indian athlete Renjith Maheswary jumped much lower than his best and finished last among the 18 finishers in group B of the Triple Jump qualifying round of the Olympic track and field competition here today.

Renjith's jump of 15.77, which he achieved in his first attempt, was much below then his personal best of 17.04 meters which saw him ending overall 35th in the field of 37th finishers.The 22-year-old jumper from Kerala, Renjith was the first Indian to breach the 17m mark in triple jump which he achieved at Guwahati (17.04m) in the Asian Grand Prix that earned him a direct ticket to Beijing.

What is surprising is that he was good enough to repeat his 17-plus leap once more in Asian Track and field meet at Amman but that effort of 17.19 (more than 17.10, the A qualifying mark for Olympics) was wind-aided.

But when it mattered most, the Indian flopped miserably as this morning, his jump was whopping 1.27m below his Guwahati land mark and that left many surprised.

The top 12 jumpers made it to the finals.

Renjith had a jump of 15.77 in his first attempt, he failed his next and in the third he had jump of 15.51m.

His performance here has been his worst ever because he seemed to have done much better than this in every competition he took part to prepare for the Olympics.

Renjith jumped 16.42m in the Inter-Railway meet at Bhubaneswar in 2005 and then crossed the 16.50 mark twice in 2006, at the Doha Asian Games (16.54) and at Inter-State meet in Chennai (16.50).

By the time, he jumped in the Federation Cup in Kolkata in May, 2007, Renjith had peaked to 16.72. And then came the big jump in June 2007 in Guwahati, 17.04, which helped him attain the B qualifying Olympics mark of 16.80.

In fact all the Indians - Preja Sreedharan, Surender Singh (10,000m), Harwant Kaur, Krishna Poonia, Vikas Gowda (Discus), J J Shobha, Susmita Singha Roy and Pramila (heptathletes), who have taken part in the competition so far, have given a below par performance in this competition.

Not that they were any medal prospects but still they could neither improve nor equal their personal best here is baffling.

Renjith had told mediapersons before coming here that he will be at his best by the time he reaches Beijing. ''The coach also imparts training to peak at the right time,'' he had said.

''Those who have been doing 17.90m have dropped to 17.50 this year and generally there are not many who have done more than 17m,'' he had said and though he proved right in his assessment about other jumpers he failed about his own.

Britain's Phillips Idowu with 17.44m topped the field and the last qualifier was Ukrain's Victor Kuznyetsov who had a jump of 17.09m.

UNI

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