Haryana decimated Odhisha in the girls’ hockey final while two of their boys — judoka Anil (55 kg) and swimmer Harsh Saroha (100m butterfly) — clinched gold medals to keep the hosts ahead in the Khelo India Youth Games 2021 here on Friday.
Haryana’s 4-1 win was thanks to a brace of goals by captain Sonam and one each by Kanika Siwach and Gurmail Kaur much to the delight of a packed stadium. Earlier, Jharkhand made up for their heart-breaking loss, beating Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) 4-1 to take home the bronze medal.
Later in the evening, Saroha added another gold to his earlier 50m butterfly triumph, taking the 100m butterfly final to take the hosts’ overall tally to 36 gold, 28 silver and 36 bronze.
Maharashtra, though, continued to breathe down their necks, adding gold in mallakhamb and judo to take their tally to 34. While the mallakhamb boys pipped Madhya Pradesh in the final, judoka Mithila Bhosale defeated Gujarat’s Archana Naghera in the girls’ 40kg category.
In swimming events, Karnataka’s Ridhma Kumar set a new mark even as her teammates ruled the pool with five gold on the third day of the swimming competition, helping the state leapfrog Manipur to the third spot in the overall standings. The Class X student clocked 29.88s to erase the old mark of 29.94.
Karnataka’s Aneesh Gowda went on to take his fourth gold medal of the meet, winning the 400m freestyle.
Earlier, Punjab rode on Bharath Thakur’s brace to upset favourites Uttar Pradesh 3-1 in a thrilling boys’ hockey final.
Bharath Thakur (4th & 47th) and Rajinder Singh, off the team’s fifth penalty corner, quelled the national champions. Impressive U.P. earned 10 penalty corners but could convert only one, in the 11th minute, through drag-flicker captain Sharda Nand Tiwari, which was good enough to only restore parity.
“We had finished twice on the podium, with a silver and bronze, but today the boys displayed perfect hockey and delivered," a jubilant Yudhwinder Singh, the coach, said.
The Odisha boys team bagged the bronze medal by hammering Jharkhand 8-0.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s girls got the better of hosts Haryana 3-2 to set up an intriguing final against Jharkand, who defeated Gujarat 3-0.
In archery, TOPS Development squad athlete Parth Salunke topped the recurve boys’ qualifications, with Divyansh Kumar of Chandigarh and Juyel Sarkar of West Bengal taking the second and third slots.
In compound girls, Priya Gurjar of Rajasthan topped the qualification stand’ngs, followed by Punjab’s Praneet Kaur and Avneet Kaur.
In cycling road events, Chaitra Borji of Karnataka bagged the gold with a timing of 32:51.84 seconds. Leakzes Angmo helped her side win Ladakh’s first medal of the Games after finishing second behind Borji with timing of 33:52.52s. Mukesh Kaswan of Rajasthan clinched the Boys’ Time Trial 30 km ahead of Jammu and Kashmir’s Adil Altaf.