Ranchi: Death of Kerala chef de mission
Suresh Babu, an Olympian and 1978 Asian Games gold medalist,
shook sixth day`s proceedings in the 34th National Games even
as the top three medal standings remained unchanged with
Maharashtra, Services and Delhi leading the way.
The former India long jumper, a popular figure for his
commitment to athletics, died of liver cirrhosis at a city
hospital in the morning as the day got off on a sad note.
Despite the heartbreaking news, the Kerala contingent
showed strong character to claim an overwhelming six gold --
two each from athletics, water polo and cycling -- to shoot
themselves to sixth position from yesterday`s 10th.
Kerala now have 16 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze medals
as Maharashtra had another fine show to hold the pole position
Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) shooters made a
clean sweep as they remained on second spot with 30-25-22.
Delhi were on third spot with 24-17-17 as they were
challenged by Manipur who had equal number of gold medals
along with 14 silver and 15 bronze.
Richa Mishra and Virdhawal Khade hogged the limelight
totalling 11 and 8 gold each in swimming arena as the event
ended under overcast condition.
Riding on Mahitha Mohan`s performance, Kerala clinched
two gold in cycling. Mahitha won the 3km individual pursuit
title and went on to bag her second gold when she along with
Kezia Varghese and Rajani Remanan won the team gold in sprint.
Kerala also bagged two gold in athletics when the women`s
quartet of Neethu Rajan, Priya P K, Shamna Muhammad and V
Santhini Vallikkad clinched the 4x100m relay while Sajeesh
Joseph won the men`s 800m gold.
Kerala`s men`s and women`s teams ruled the waterpolo
arena clinching both the titles as they totalled six gold
Commonwealth medallist Ashish Kumar dazzled in the men`s
all round individual gymnastics competition winning the gold
Putting behind his disappointment after his Uttar Pradesh
team ended with a silver medal in the team competition
yesterday`s, Ashish notched up 83.95 points to take the yellow
metal, leaving behind Services Rakesh Patra for the silver.
Patra scored 79.80 points. Kumar`s state-mate Aditya
Singh Rana (76.85) secured the bronze medal in the main field
of nine gymnasts.
In late last night Maharashtra women won the artistic
team event with 219.45 points to edge past Bengal (211.95
points) to make it seven gold from gymnastics. With 188.25
points, Andhra Pradesh girls took the bronze.
Defending champion Orissa retained the title defeating
last editions runners up Manipur 2-1 in the women`s football
at JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. Bengal outclassed
Tamil Nadu through a solitary goal to took the bronze.
Madhya Pradesh bagged the individual show jumping gold
through Jag Mahinder as Major Rohit Dagar of Services finished
second while Delhi`s Angad Sahlot bagged the bronze in the
equestrian competition at the Gopal Maidan in Jamshedpur.
Poster boy of Indian swimming, Khade sunk one record in
the day to conclude his campaign with eight gold, two silver
and two bronze medals including one silver and one bronze in
the relay events.
The last day also saw a second record by Sandeep Sejwal
in the 100m breastroke. The Asian Games bronze medalist won
all the eight titles with record timings to be adjudged the
Best Swimmer among the men.
In line to break the 12-year-old record of Nisha Millet
who clinched 11 individual gold in Manipur National Games
1999, Richa finished second in both her events -- 100m breast
stroke and 100m freestyle -- to settle for 11 gold.
The 27-year-old Delhi finished with 16 medals (11-4-1)
out of all the 17 individual competitions as she missed out
only in the 50m breaststroke where she was pushed to fifth
spot in 50m breastroke. Richa was adjudged the Best Swimmer
Looking for her 12th gold, Richa had a poor 01:20.81 to
finish more than two seconds behind Maharashtra`s Poorva
Shetye (01:18.84) as 12-year-old Tamil Nadu girl A V Jayaveena
took the bronze with 01:21.46 in the 100m breaststroke.
Goan sprint ace Talasha Prabhu denied Richa (01:00.92)
the top spot by claiming the top spot comfortable in the 100m
freestyle with a timing of 01:00.01. Maharashtra`s Aarti
Ghorpade (01:01.88) bagged the bronze.
Talasha thus denied Richa in both her pet sprint
events to return with 2-2-1. Representing Madhya Pradesh,
Sejwal smashed his heat record of 01:06.76 when he touched the
pad at 01:03.85 en route to the 100m breaststroke title where
Haryana`s Puneet Rana (01:05.47) and Punjab`s Jashandeep Singh
(01:07.56) took the silver and bronze.
Continuing his record-breaking spree, Indian
sensation Khade improved his four year-old mark of 52.80 when
he swam the 100m freestyle with a timing of 51.30 for his
Karnataka`s Rohit Havaldar (54.02) and Tamil Nadu`s
Jaywant Vijay Kumar (54.41) took the second and third spots.
Hrutika Shriram of Maharashtra won the 1m spring board
(177 points) to make it a hattrick of gold medals in diving
while statemate Swati Vidap (139.20) and Karnataka`s Karishma
Mohite (134.05) claimed the second and third spots.
Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) shooters made a
clean sweep in the rifle three position winning all the top
three spots as they claimed both the gold medals on the fray.
Sanjeev Rajput shot 1271.8 for the gold medal, while
Imran Hasan Khan (1261.0) and Satyendra Singh (1258.4) took
the remaining two spots for an all Services show.
The trio`s total scores of 3499 points earned them the
team gold, while Uttar Pradesh (3430) and Maharashtra (3375)
clinched the silver and bronze respectively.