Pala (Kottayam): The first gold medal of the 61st State School Athletics Meet went to Palakkad district with P N Ajith of Parali High School emerging winner of the 5000-metre race (senior).

He is also contesting in the 1500-metre race. Adarsh Gopi of Kothamangalam Mar Basil HSS won the silver.

The second gold at the meet went to Anumol Thampi (3000 metre race senior category) of Ernakulam.

The meet opened with the 5000 metre race senior category.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the meet and the new synthetic track at 3 pm on Friday evening. Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs A C Moideen will preside over the inaugural ceremony.

School athletics
Photo: Ajith Panachikkal

It is after 25 years that the event is being held at Pala.

From this year on, the category of the contestants will be decided based on their age. Till last year, the meet followed class-wise categorisation for senior to sub-junior sections.

In the Revenue District sport meet, Palakkad had emerged champions and Ernakulam secured second position.

Mathrubhumi will present gold medal for the best sportsperson in girls’ and boys’ categories. The ‘best sportsperson’ will be decided by an expert team engaged by Mathrubhumi. Mathrubhumi will present cash awards for record-breaking performances in the meet.