We have grown up seeing Usain Bolt shatter 100 records in the Olympics and always wondered if we would have somebody from India doing the same. Although not exactly the same, an Indian is now able to inch closer to the standards set by world sprinters when it comes to a 100m race.
In a remarkable display of speed and precision, H.H. Manikanta shattered the men’s 100m National record at the 62nd National Open Athletics Championships held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Manikanta, representing Services, blazed past the finish line in the semifinal heats, clocking an impressive timing of 10.23s. This exceptional performance eclipsed the previous record set by Amiya Mallick in 2016 by a significant margin, sparking celebrations and acclaim within the athletic community.
Watch HH Manikanta shatter National 100m record:
21- year old HH Manikanta of Services smashes the 🇮🇳 100m NR with a time of 10.23 in the heats of the National Championships in Bengaluru. That gap at the finish is Bolt like! Previous NR was 10.26 by Amiya Mallick. Video credit @afiindia pic.twitter.com/0FfiNFSffT
— jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) October 11, 2023
Mallick, from Odisha, who previously held the record, was also part of the heats alongside Manikanta but secured a fourth-place finish with a timing of 10.58s. The 21-year-old Manikanta, expressing his elation, revealed that breaking the National 100m record had always been a cherished goal. Reflecting on his achievement, he admitted that he had initially aimed to set the record in the final, not the semifinal.
Indian Army leads the way yet again
Hailing from Udupi, Karnataka, Manikanta joined the Indian Army in 2020, serving as a dedicated Sepoy. His triumph in this championship was not a sudden stroke of luck but a testament to his unwavering commitment and dedication to training. He attributed his success to consistent and rigorous training, emphasizing that his efforts had culminated in notable improvements throughout the year.
Under the guidance of his coach, T. Aboobacker, a former silver medalist with the 4x400m relay team at the 2006 Asian Games, Manikanta has honed his skills and technique to perfection. With his eyes firmly set on further glory, he is set to compete in the final round of the championship on Thursday, carrying the hopes and aspirations of a nation inspired by his remarkable feat.