Kingston: Ace Odia sprinter Srabani Nanda has become the first Indian track and field athlete to participate in a competition amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Srabani Nanda has a run at a meet in Jamaica alongside some of the world’s best. The 29-year-old Nanda competed Sunday in the 100m race at the ‘Velocity Fest’ meeting at Jamaica College. She represented the MVP Track club. She won heat two in 11.78 seconds for a third-place finish overall.
Apart from Nanda, the ‘Velocity Fest’ also had double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce competing. Reigning Olympic champion Thompson, also representing MVP Track Club, was the overall winner in 11.19 seconds. Fraser-Pryce, representing Nike, won the women’s 200m in 22.74 seconds.
Former 100m World Champion Yohan Blake won the men’s 200m in 20.62 seconds.
The ‘Velocity Fest’ was Jamaica’s first track-and-field event since March.
Nanda has a personal best of 11.45 in 100m and 23.07 in 200m. She took part in the 2016 Olympics and finished sixth in her heat. She was part of the bronze winning 4x100m relay quartet in the 2017 Asian Championships. She had also won a 200m gold and a 100m silver in the 2016 South Asian Games.
However, except for a picture with Usain Bolt and information of her participation in the event, Srabani’s Facebook page does not give any details in of the event. In fact the information has been backed up with a video clip of the Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships in Srabani (jersey number 614) is seen running alongside Dutee Chand. The event was held at Patiala in 2017. So one is left wondering as to why Srabani did not upload any video of the recent event at Jamaica.