Seven-year-old Navya Shetty of Udayachal High School, Vikhroli became the youngest athlete to set a new meet record in the U-8 long jump event on Day Two of this edition of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school athletics meet at the Sports Authority of India, Kandivli yesterday.
Up she goes: Navya Shetty competes in the U-8 long jump event at the MSSA athletics meet in Kandivli yesterday. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Navya leapt 3.32 metres to eclipse the previous mark of 3.05m set by Poorva Sawant from the same school in 2010. In fact, Navya had beaten Poorva's mark in her second (of six) attempts itself, when she jumped 3.08m. She then bettered her own mark in her fourth attempt. Interestingly this is Navya's maiden MSSA athletic meet and she never expected to win gold here, so obviously setting a new record was not even on her mind.
"I am very happy to have won gold here. I hope I can win more medals in other tournaments too," said the Class II student. Her mother Dr Chanchala Shetty said that the new meet record was the icing on the cake: "I was hoping for a win from her but I never expected her to break the meet record and that too by such a huge margin," said Dr Shetty, who is now keen to encourage her ward to become a professional athlete.
"Seeing Navya set this record has made me very emotional. Her dream is now my dream. I'll go to any extent to fulfill Navya's wish," she added. Navya's coach Virendra Yadav is certain his ward will don India colours in the future. "She is just seven. And if she continues to receive encouragement and motivation from her parents, I'm sure she'll break many more records as she grows," he said.
Two more meet record were set yesterday. Vishwa Vora of Rustomjee International School (Dahisar) set a new mark 12.89m in the U-14 boys' shot put event, while Rene Desai of Ryan International ICSE (Malad) achieved a record of 1.50m in the U-14 girls' high jump event.