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MSSA athletics: Shubham Patekar wins gold, but loses bet

Despite winning a gold medal in the boys' U-16 high jump event of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school athletics meet at University Pavilion, Marine Lines with a jump of 1.73m yesterday, St Lawrence's (Kandivli) Shubham Patekar was not satisfied with his performance.

St Lawrence's (Kandivli) Shubham Patekar soars during the U-16 high jump event at the MSSA athletic meet yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
St Lawrence's (Kandivli) Shubham Patekar soars during the U-16 high jump event at the MSSA athletic meet yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK

The 15-year-old was a tad disappointed at not being able to break the record of 1.78m set by his senior schoolmate Vedant Mandre in 2013. Yesterday Shubham clinched gold ahead of Children's Academy's (Malad) Maanav Shah, who jumped 1.60m for silver and Anirudh Iyer of Rustomjee International, who clinched bronze clearing 1.55m.

Shubham and Vedant train together at the St Lawrence School ground under coach Vaibhav Jadhav. That's where Vedant recently challenged Shubham to try and cross his mark. "Vedant is my senior and a good friend. Before the MSSA meet, we had a bet. He challenged me to cross his mark. So, though I had the option of being content
winning the gold medal after clearing the highest jump in my first three attempts, I went for the next three jumps to try and break Vedant's record.

I came close to clearing the bar at 1.79m in my third attempt, but unfortunately, my body touched the bar and it fell over," rued the Borivli resident, who achieved his personal best of 1.75m at last month's Bombay YMCA meet at Sports Authority of India in Kandivli.

Shubham now plans to put in extra hours in practice to do better at the Maharashtra State Athletics championships to be held in Nashik next month. "My aim this year is to cross the 1.80m mark first and possibly go for 2m thereafter," said Shubham, who idolises his first school coach, 80-year-old Paul D'Cruz.

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