AMN / Pune
Delhi’s judokas and swimmers and Haryana’s wrestlers helped them close the gap with Maharashtra in the medals as the battle for overall supremacy gathered momentum at the Khelo India Youth Games.
Maharashtra, who started the day with a good lead of eight gold over second placed Delhi, were now just two gold ahead of Delhi and Haryana had narrowed the gap from 14 to eight.
Maharashtra still cling to the top position with 37 gold, 33 silver and 46 bronze for a total of 116, while Delhi are close on their heels with 35 gold, 23 silver and 25 bronze at a total of 83. Haryana have 29 gold, 29 silver and 32 bronze. Both Delhi and Haryana won 11 gold each on Saturday, while Maharashtra had just five.
Maharashtra, who were close to the century mark when competition ended on Friday, didn’t take much time when the medals started flowing in the evening on Saturday.
Of the total of 36 teams, from 29 states and seven Union Territories, taking part, as many as 28 had managed to get themselves on the medals tally, indicating that the smaller states are also beginning to make a mark.
Gujarat made their entry into the Top-10 of the medals tally as they now have six gold, three silver and three bronze and lie 10th.
Haryana dominate the wrestling mat
Haryana, who have picked most of their medals from wrestling continued to do as they added eight more gold and took their tally from the sport to 24 as wrestling came to an end. Haryana’s total picking from wrestling was 58 medals in the four sections.
Such was their domination that their gold haul was better than all other states put together.
The pick of the bouts on Saturday was between Monika Hooda of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh’s Payal Sharma in the girls under-21 57kg category. The evenly matched wrestlers had the crowd excited before Monika won the gold, maintaining Haryana’s dominance.
Delhi Judokas way too good
Delhi judokas once again basked in glory grabbing three gold medals out of the eight on the cards on Satruday in the Khelo India Youth Games 2019. Delhi’s tally of gold from Judo is now nine.
On the penultimate day of the judo competition, Uttar Pradesh picked up two gold while Haryana, Gujarat. Rajasthan also added themselves on the Gold list through Hemang Jaiswal in the Below-73kgs category.
Delhi’s three gold came from Shubham (Below-55kgs), Mahima Tokas (Below-48kgs) and Pinky Balhara (Below-52Kgs).
Chip of the old block in shoot, Manavaditya wins trap gold
In shooting, Manavaditya Singh Rathore, gathered himself after an uncertain start to blaze his way to the men’s under-21 trap shooting gold medal. Son of 2004 Olympic Games double trap silver medallist Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Manavaditya found his rhythm in time to push back 2018 Asian Games silver medallist Lakshya Sheoran, who ultimately finished in fourth place.
In another Trap event, a fisherman’s daughter, Manish Keer (Madhya Pradesh) claimed the women’s under-21 trap gold. Manisha, a World Junior Championship silver medallist trained by Olympian Mansher Singh, ran out a 38-35 winner over Delhi’s Kirti Gupta.
The 19-year-old Manavaditya Rathore said he felt pressure in the final and, in fact, throughout the competition. “I think pressure is very important as it makes you stay alert. You just have to stop yourself from overthinking,” he said. “My father and mother guide me, and I know I am in good hands.”
Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Mehuli Ghosh won the women’s junior (under-21) 10m air rifle gold in a high profile contest. She showed great determination and concentration despite jet lag. She came back from shooting in the Bundesliga in Germany only a couple of days ago and napped for half an hour in the gallery before the competition today.
The 18-year-old from West Bengal asserted her class, shooting scores of 629.4 in the qualification and following it up 252.1 that left her biggest challenger Elavenil Valarivan (Gujarat) in her wake.
Maharashtra, Karnataka to the fore in swimming
For the third successive day, action in the pool was dominated by swimmers from Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka who between them shared 21 of the 33 medals at stake.
Maharashtra claimed seven medals (four gold, three silver), Delhi had eight (three gold, three silver and two bronze) and Karnataka bagged six (two gold, silver and bronze).
Catching the eye of the talent identifiers was Gujarat’s Kalyani Saxena. She made light of the opposition and finished in 5;27.28 to even ease up her pace before the others could touch the finish pad. It was Gujarat’s first swimming gold.
The girls U-17 400m medley turned out to be a thriller where Maharashtra’s Apeksha Fernandes’s last lap burst gave her the gold in 5:23.36. Another Maharashtra girl, Kenisha Gupta, bagged the 100m U-17 freestyle gold without much ado. Delhi’s Shivangi Sharma and Bihar’s Mahi Swetraj were a distant second and third.
Tamil Nadu jumpers and UP athletes in spotlight
Tamil Nadu long jumper Sherin Abdul Gafoor finally breached the six-metre mark in long jump after coming close to it more than a few times in recent months. In the process she struck gold at the Khelo India Youth Games 2019. She did touch 6.01m in a Tamil Nadu State University competition but that did not catch discerning eyes. She was hovering around the six-metre and it finally this evening.
Born in Kanchipuram, Sherin jumped 5.99m in the National Junior Championships in Ranchi in November last. The 18-year-old Anna University student followed that up with a best effort of 5.96m in the All India Inter-University Athletics Championships in Moodbidri. Her quest for personal best met with success on a warm afternoon.
The 18-year-old Aravinth Ezhilarasan doubled Tamil Nadu’s delight by winning the men’s under-21 triple jump gold with a 15.45m effort that compared favourably with his best of 15.46m, attained in the qualifications in the Inter-University meet in November.
Uttar Pradesh won three gold in track and field competitions today, through Rebi Pal (girls under-21 3000m), Vipin Kumar (boys under-17 hammer throw), and Anamika Das (girls under-21 shot put).
Bengal gymnasts excel; Tripura pick first gold
Bidisha Gayen and Satyajit Mondol were the stars for Bengal with two medals each in the Under-21 gymnastics action. The West Bengal team finished the day with a total of eight medals that included two gold, five silver and a bronze.
Maharashtra, however, maintained their overall lead by winning four of the eight gold medals on offer, taking their total to six. Arik Dey impressed the judges once again to walk away with a gold and a silver for the home team. He won the all-around competition on the opening day. Vaidehi Abhay and Omkar Shinde won the uneven bars and rings respectively.
Asmita Paul secured the first gold for Tripura in the women’s artistic gymnastics. She later went to add another bronze for the beam.
Punjab rule Weightlifting
Punjab ruled the arena on the fourth day of weightlifting, winning three of the six gold on offer besides a silver and a bronze at the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 here on Saturday. Maharashtra, however, stand on the top of the Weightlifting medals tally so far with six gold though today was rather unproductive for them.
While Punjab was bagging a lion’s share of gold, it was Andhra Pradesh’s A.S.R.K. Yadav, who was the star of the day. Yadav won the Under-17 gold by a massive margin, as his total of 267 kg (121 snatch and 146 Clean & Jerk) was 29 kg better than the second placed Anil Singh of Punjab. Anubhav Singh took the bronze with a total of 230 kgs.
Yadav missed out on a double by a whisker with his total of 267 kgs. In the race for medals in U-21 section, he trumped Baldev in the snatch by lifting 121kg but fell 2kg short in clean and jerk, finishing with 146kg.
Haryana meet Punjab in U-17 hockey final
In Boys Under-17 hockey, Haryana will take on Punjab on January 14. In the semifinals Punjab edged out the formidable Odisha 6-5 via the penalty shootout 6-5, while Haryana scored twice in the third quarter to subdue Uttar Pradesh 3-2.