Guntur: Kerala's KT Neena qualified for World Youth Championships after winning gold in 5000m race with a new meet mark of 25 mins 13.95 sec on the third and final day of the 10th National Youth Athletics Championships, here.
The World Youth Championships will be held in Ukraine in July.
Neena's teammates A.M. Binsy and S. Akshaya completed the other two places on the podium as Kerala pipped overnight leaders Haryana by just one point (155-154) to defend their overall title.
Haryana continued to apply pressure with more number of wins on the last day's events at Brahmananda Reddy Stadium on Monday but the defending champions fought back with vigour and the tale of identifying this edition's champions went till the last event of the meet-the medley relay.
Another medal sweep by their steeplechasers, an excellent run by half-miler Mohammed Afsal, noteworthy wins by triple jumper Abdulla Aboobacker and hurdler Anjali Jose helped the team to wrest the lead from Haryana.
In the medley relay for girls the Kerala team was trailing at mid-way but the last leg runner Shaharbana Sidhique made a gallant effort to take her team to the flag position.
Expectantly Haryana took the gold in the boys' relay but it did not change the position.
Apart from Kerala walker Neena, most of the other World Youth qualifiers came from Haryana. On the final day of competitions 400m hurdler Parmvir Singh (54.43 secs), javelin thrower Mandeep Kumar (67.02m), sprinters Mohit (22.52 secs) and Ashish Chikara (22.66s) attained such distinction among others.
Haryana boys' garnered the 123 points for the team championships while Kerala girls made their state proud once again with the top with 120 points.
Shot putter Shakti Solanki (Delhi) and sprint-star Dutee Chand (Odisha) were adjudged best athletes of the three-day meet in boys and girls divisions respectively and received 10 gms gold medals for their effort.