National Games: Services topple Maharashtra from top, Dhoni visits venue

Services upstaged Maharashtra from the pole position in the medal tally on a day of upsets.

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2011, 23:57 PM IST

Ranchi: Services upstaged Maharashtra from the pole position in the medal tally on a day of upsets which saw Asian Games gold medallist 400m hurdler Joseph Abraham being pushed to second place in the 34th National Games here on Sunday.

Services athletes excelled in shooting and cycling to usurp the pole position from Maharashtra who were on top in the last three days. Services now have 35 gold, 26 silver and 23 bronze ahead of Maharashtra (32-34-34) and Manipur (25-14-15).

However, it was Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who hogged the spotlight during his surprised visit to the Mega Sports Complex after taking a day’s off from his busy World Cup schedule.

The news of Dhoni visiting the National Games main venue spread like wildfire as the day witnessed the highest turn-out on a hazy evening and the crowd paid most of attention to him despite the intense competition going around.

Dhoni watched a bit of athletics, presented medals to the winners while in the afternoon he took the centrestage in the men’s football action between Goa and Jharkhand in the city stadium.

Athletics arena saw the biggest upset of the day when Asian Games gold medallist and national record holder Joseph Abraham was pushed to the second place by Punjab’s Kuldev Singh who won the 400m hurdles with a Games record timing of 50.31.

In another surprise of the day, top seed Sayali Gokhale made a semifinal exit in the badminton when she lost out to promising 21-year-old Arundhati Pantawane in an-all Maharashtra semifinals.

Tripura’s Dipa Karmakar sparkled in the gymnastics arena clinching four gold medals taking her haul to five, the highest by any gymnast on the concluding day of the event here.

After taking the all round individual title yesterday, 18-year-old Karmakar clinched the girl’s table vault, uneven bars, floor exercises and balanced beam during the day to emerge top in the individual medal list followed by Maharashtra’s Aksheta Shate who took four gold in the Rhythmic gymnastics on Thursday.

Commonwealth silver and Asian Games bronze medallist Ashish Kumar won the gold in the ring for his second, while Jharkhand’s Partho Mandal snapped the yellow metal in the pommel horse to give the hosts the lone medal in the gymnastics.
Uttar Pradesh’s Iqrar Hassan and Services’ Raja Roy won gold medals in horizontal bar and parallel bars respectively. Services marksmen remained on course to bag the overall title as they added two more gold on the penultimate day of the shooting competition.

But the day belonged to both Services’ Gurpreet Singh and Punjab’s Heena Singh with the duo claiming one individual and one team gold.

Heena clinched individual gold in 10m women’s air pistol with a record score as the day also witnessed another new mark by Vijay Kumar in the qualification round of 25m rapid fire pistol.

But Kumar failed in the final series to return empty-handed as his state-mate Gurpreet Singh 572 (29), Haryana’s Harpreet Singh with 564 (24) and Madhya Pradesh’s Mahendar Singh 566 (20) grabbed the top three spots.

Kumar shot 581 in the qualification to improve his four year old record of 578 in Guwahati. The top score by Kumar ensured Services the team the gold medal as he, along with Gurpreet Singh and Pemba Tamang, logged 1730.

Haryana trio of Rahul Panwar, Harpreet Singh and Yogesh Singh scored 1680 while Madhya Pradesh’s Mahendra Singh, Poonam Kumar Choudhary and Toshit Kumar had 1649 to take the silver and bronze.

Punjab’s Heena Sindhu shot 386 in the qualification round to eclipse four year old mark of Sonia Rai (383) while in the final she totalled 489.4 which broke Annu Raj Singh’s record of 481.8 in the Guwahati.

Maharashtra’s Jivan Rahi Sarnobat shot 479.4 (380+99.4) and HP’s Sonia Rai logged 477.8 (378+99.8) for the second and third spots.

The trio of Heena Sindhu, Harveen Sarao and Lakhbir Kaur Sindhu totalled 1135 to earn Punjab the team gold, while Maharashtra’s Jivan Rahi Sarnobhat, Shreya Sanjay Gawande and Shital Thorat (1122) and Haryana’s Annu Raj Singh, Shweta Chaudhary and Anisa Sayyed (1120) bagged the silver and bronze.

Indian star rider Ch Rameshori Devi continued to dominate the cycling competition, completing a hat-trick of gold medals.

Her third gold came in the the 3km team pursuit when she, along with K Suchitra Devi, Th Helen Devi and Y Sunita Devi, had an effort of 4:04.234 to earn Manipur the title.
Kerala quartet of Rejani V, Mahitha Mohan, Deepa Chandran and Kezia Verghese stood second, while Punjab bagged the bronze through Gurpreet Kaur, Rekha Rani, Sandeep Kaur and Mamta Kumari.

Services riders clinched the second gold on offer on Sunday when Atul Singh, Satbir Singh, Vinod Malik and Sombir Singh clinched the 4km team pursuit title with a timing of 4:43.635.

Punjab’s Sarpreet Singh, Harpreet Singh, Amandeep Singh and Amrit Singh bagged the silver in 4:49.104, while Rajasthan’s star studded team of Rajendra Bishnoi, Suraj Mal Jat, Suresh Bishnoi and Rakesh Kumar Jhakar were third with a timing of 4:57.710.

But Kumar failed in the final series to return empty-handed as his state-mate Gurpreet Singh 572 (29), Haryana’s Harpreet Singh with 564 (24) and Madhya Pradesh’s Mahendar Singh 566 (20) grabbed the top three spots.

Kumar shot 581 in the qualification to improve his four year old record of 578 in Guwahati. The top score by Kumar ensured Services the team the gold medal as he, along with Gurpreet Singh and Pemba Tamang, logged 1730.

Haryana trio of Rahul Panwar, Harpreet Singh and Yogesh Singh scored 1680 while Madhya Pradesh’s Mahendra Singh, Poonam Kumar Choudhary and Toshit Kumar had 1649 to take the silver and bronze.

Punjab’s Heena Sindhu shot 386 in the qualification round to eclipse four year old mark of Sonia Rai (383) while in the final she totalled 489.4 which broke Annu Raj Singh’s record of 481.8 in the Guwahati.

Maharashtra’s Jivan Rahi Sarnobat shot 479.4 (380+99.4) and HP’s Sonia Rai logged 477.8 (378+99.8) for the second and third spots.

The trio of Heena Sindhu, Harveen Sarao and Lakhbir Kaur Sindhu totalled 1135 to earn Punjab the team gold, while Maharashtra’s Jivan Rahi Sarnobhat, Shreya Sanjay Gawande and Shital Thorat (1122) and Haryana’s Annu Raj Singh, Shweta Chaudhary and Anisa Sayyed (1120) bagged the silver and bronze.

Indian star rider Ch Rameshori Devi continued to dominate the cycling competition, completing a hat-trick of gold medals.

Her third gold came in the the 3km team pursuit when she, along with K Suchitra Devi, Th Helen Devi and Y Sunita Devi, had an effort of 4:04.234 to earn Manipur the title.

Kerala quartet of Rejani V, Mahitha Mohan, Deepa Chandran and Kezia Verghese stood second, while Punjab bagged the bronze through Gurpreet Kaur, Rekha Rani, Sandeep Kaur and Mamta Kumari.

Services riders clinched the second gold on offer today when Atul Singh, Satbir Singh, Vinod Malik and Sombir Singh clinched the 4km team pursuit title with a timing of 4:43.635.

Punjab’s Sarpreet Singh, Harpreet Singh, Amandeep Singh and Amrit Singh bagged the silver in 4:49.104, while Rajasthan’s star studded team of Rajendra Bishnoi, Suraj Mal Jat, Suresh Bishnoi and Rakesh Kumar Jhakar were third with a timing of 4:57.710.

PTI