Madhya Pradesh’s Advait Page and Kerala’s Sajan Prakash stole the limelight as they won their third respective gold medal in the swimming pool at the National Games on Thursday.
Maana Patel also delivered her second gold for Gujarat in swimming at the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex here.
West Bengal recurve archer Atanu Das also captured attention when he won the men’s individual gold, beating Gurcharan Besra (Services) 6-4 at the Sanskardam Sports Complex near Ahmedabad. His celebratory roar could be heard at a distance.
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Services remained on top of the medal table with 41 gold, 28 silver and 26 bronze for a total of 95. Haryana won four of the five gold medals in archery to consolidate their second place with 29 gold.
Maharashtra (24) closed in on Services as far as total medals are concerned with 93 so far.
Advait Page’s superior endurance and finishing speed earned him the 800m freestyle gold in a stunning manner in a close race. Trailing Aryan Nehra (Gujarat) and Sajan Prakash for all but the final few meters, he shot past them to be the first to the wall.
Later, Sajan Prakash bossed the 50m butterfly to complete a sweep of the three events in the stroke. If he was feeling tired after being pushed hard in the 16-lap event by Advait Page and Aryan Nehra, he did not show it as he coasted to victory, making it clear that he brooks no challenge in butterfly events.
With victories in the 100m backstroke finals, Olympians Maana Patel and Srihari Nataraj picked up their second individual gold medals each. A start to finish effort by Bhavya Sachdeva (Delhi) handed Karnataka teenager Hashika Ramachandra her first defeat in five events here.
Second-seeded Aakarshi Kashyap (Chhattisgarh) dominated top-seeded Malvika Bansod (Maharashtra) to win the badminton women’s Singles gold at the PDDU Indoor Stadium in Surat.
B Sai Praneeth (Telangana) justified his top billing by taking the men’s singles gold after an hour-long battle with Mithun Manjunath (Karnataka). He won 21-11, 12-21, 21-16.
Ashwini Ponnappa and K Sai Prateek made a perfect start to their journey as a mixed doubles pair, eking out a 21-16, 21-13 victory over Rohan Kapoor and Kanika Kanwal (Delhi).
Ponnappa was all praise for her 22-year-old partner.
He played a strong game. He hit hard and covered the court well. I’m very happy to win my first ever National Games gold, she said.
The fancied pair of N Sikki Reddy and Pullela Gayatri Gopichand expectedly won the women’s doubles title for Telangana, making it a happy outing for the state with three gold to show from the badminton competition.
Telangana had more reason to celebrate when their Women’s basketball team prevented a Tamil Nadu double in Bhavnagar. Telangana beat Tamil Nadu 67-62 in a thriller, after leading 35-31 at half-time.
Coming on the heels of their 3×3 side’s gold, this win meant that Telangana women would complete the golden double in the National Games. The formidable Tamil Nadu men’s squad beat Punjab 97-89 after holding a 46-42 lead at the break to take the crown.
Services’ lone gold on the day came from their experienced divers Surajit Rajbansi and H London Singh winning the top two medals. With good execution of his routines, Surajit Rajbansi tallied 275.35 points, relegating team-mate London Singh who logged 254.75 points. This was the third successive 1-2 for Services in men’s 1m springboard Diving.
Meanwhile, in the Mahatma Mandir complex in Gandhinagar, World Boxing Championship bronze medalist Jamuna Boro (Assam) came up with an inspiring 5-0 win over lesser-known Nirmal (Nagaland) to open her campaign in style in the women’s 57kg weight division.
Her state-mate and former world youth champion Ankushita Boro also advanced to the next round after forcing the referee to stop her contest with Telangana’s Niharika Gonella in the women’s 66kg.
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