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Jalandhar student wins second prize at inter-college hammer throw competition

The athlete talks about the kind of prep that goes into acing hammer throw

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Jessica (left) with ACFA faculty

A student at Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA), Jessica Jagdev secured the second position in hammer throw at an Inter-college Athlete Meet organised by Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) at Khalsa College, Amritsar.

This was Jessica’s first medal in the sport after training for six months. She also participated in the North East Zone Inter-university Championship 2022-23 held in Bhubaneshwar. “It was a 10-day camp for which I was selected in the top 16. I qualified for the inter-university championship but let go of the chance because I wanted to practise more before participating next year,” the athlete shared.

Prior to hammer throw, Jessica participated and won several medals at inter-college championships in the past two-three years, but in discus throw and shot put. Talking about her decision to shift to hammer throw, she said, “There were some technical difficulties because of which I had to switch to this sport. I realised I would do much better in hammer throw than discus.”

Also Read: ‘From doubt-clearing sessions to exam preparation, ACFA teachers helped my daughter a lot during the pandemic’

For the uninitiated, hammer throw involves hurling a wire-handled spherical weight for a distance using the two hands within a throwing circle. While the men’s hammer throw event has been part of the Olympic Games since 1990, the women’s event made an Olympic debut in 2000.

“It is not an easy game and requires a lot of training. It is one of the most technical events in athletics so we need to train at least twice a day. I practise at the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) ground in Jalandhar in the morning and evening. Each session is for at least two-three hours,” added the Apeejay student, who practises for six days on most weeks.

While mastering technicalities, Jessica also takes special care of her fitness level through appropriate weight training and agility training. “I focus on my diet too and eat meals based on my nutrient requirements. Sometimes, I take supplements like fish oil and protein shakes.”

Having put her heart and soul into the sport, Jessica aims to play the sport at a national and international level. Simultaneously, she has been able to successfully divide her time between training and academics, mentions the first-year student of MA English. And her family and teachers are a constant source of motivation and support in the journey. “I struggled in the initial days but now I have a set daily routine to complete all my tasks. I have the full support of my parents. My uncle is an Asian gold medallist in shot put. So, my father has been enthusiastic about putting me into sports right from the beginning.

“Mansi ma’am, the head of Sports at ACFA, has been very supportive too. Even our principal Neerja ma’am appreciates the efforts made by students. I am blessed to have such mentors in my life,” Jessica added.

As more and more women showcase their mettle in sports, Jessica vouches for a shift in people’s mentality about gender stereotypes in the field. “Even the governments are providing various facilities to girls to promote equal opportunity. You can also get a good government job later so I think more women should definitely participate in sports.”

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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