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Rajat Chauhan strikes twin gold medals in archery, SSCB continue domination

 Rajat Chauhan stole the thunder from Abhishek Verma by bagging two gold besides a silver as India's Asian Games gold-medal winning members of the men's compound archery team squared off for two different outfits on the eighth day of competitions in the 35th National Games here.

Thiruvananthapuram: Rajat Chauhan stole the thunder from Abhishek Verma by bagging two gold besides a silver as India's Asian Games gold-medal winning members of the men's compound archery team squared off for two different outfits on the eighth day of competitions in the 35th National Games here.

In the overall standings at the halfway stage of the Games, the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) continued to rule the roost in the medals tally. The two-time defending champions (69) trail Maharashtra (92) in the total medal count but are perched on top on the basis of a higher number of gold medals.

SSCB have so far accumulated 42 gold, 13 silver and 14 bronze medals. Maharashtra, on the other hand, have 27 gold, 38 silver and 27 bronze medals. Haryana held the third position with 27 gold, 18 silver and 7 bronze for a total of 52 medals.

After the end of shooting and swimming competitions yesterday, focus was on archery, which is being conducted in Kochi with Rajat (Rajasthan) and Abhishek (Delhi) being the cynosure of all eyes.

Rajat was the more impressive one, leading Rajasthan to the mixed team gold besides the men's team silver. In the mixed event, Rajasthan beat Punjab 146-145 before losing to the same state in a shootoff for the men's team gold after finishing 229-229 in the regulation shots. However, Rajat took the top spot in the individual competition, beating Abhishek 145-142 to take the yellow metal.

Abhishek, who won the individual silver in the Asian Games, settled for a bronze with Sushma in the mixed team event before his silver in the individual men's final. The individual bronze went to Telangana's Sanam Isaih Ranjender, who beat statemate Deepa Kranthi Kumar 143-140 in the play-off.

However, there was heartbreak for the third member of Asiad team, Sandeep Kumar (SSCB), who finished without a medal after his men's team lost 229-231 to Telangana in the bronze medal play-off.

The women's team gold was nabbed by Arunachal Pradesh after a 226-223 triumph over Punjab in the final with Andhra Pradesh finishing third following a 224-218 win over Manipur. The individual top honours were taken by Andhra Pradesh's Purva Shende, who got the better of Arunachal Pradesh's Sorang Yumi 1441-141. Punjab's Trisha Dev beat Jharkhand's Soy Manjudha in a shootoff to claim the bronze after scores were tied at 138.

On the tennis court, the action wound up with Tamil Nadu's Ram Kumar Ramaverma clinching the men's singles gold by beating statemate Sri Ram Balaji 6-2 6-4. The women's title went to Gujarat's Ankita Raina, who staved off Maharashtra girl Prarthana Thombare 7-5 6-3.

The men's doubles gold was bagged by Saketh Mynei and Vishnu Vardhan after they rallied to beat Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Vijay Natarajan 6-7 6-3 11-9. It was a golden double for Ankitha as she along with Eetee Mehta ended numero uno in women's doubles, getting the better of Telangana's Nidhi Chilumula and Soujanya Bavisetti 6-2 6-1.

In the cycling competition being conducted near the Kovalam beach here, Rutuja Satpute of Maharashtra won the 28km Individual Time Trial Road Race for women gold by clocking 00:46:49.145. The silver and bronze went to host state Kerala's kitty through Krishnendhu T Krishna (00:48:07.961) and Mahitha Mohan (00:48:20.357).

In the men's 126km Road Mass Start, Haryana's Pankaj Kumar snatched the gold by fraction of a second after clocking 03:22:04.471, followed by Karanataka's N Lokesh (03:22:04.512). Maharashtra's Abhinandan Bhosale (03:22:04.797) settled for the bronze in this event.

The wushu event kicked off today and Manipur took the opening honours with M Sadananda bagging the men's Taolu (Taijiquan) gold with 9.52 points. The silver went to SSCB's M Gyandas, who scored 9.18 points, while Madhya Pradesh's Umesh Kumar had to be content with a bronze after scoring 8.13 points.
Manipur were on top in the women's event as well, with Santombi Chanu bagging gold ahead of Uttar Pradesh's Rita Devi and Madhya Pradesh's Sakshi.

In the football competition in Kozhikode, Odisha entered the women's final, riding on Menaka Malik's double strike to beat Haryana 3-0. Lochana Munda was the other goal-scorer for the eastern state. Odisha thus set up a clash with Manipur, who thrashed Kerala 3-0 following twin strikes by N G Bala Devi and one by I Prameshori Devi.

In the boxing ring at Thrissur, SSCB held on to their supremacy and former Asian medallist Thockchom Nanao Singh (49kg) was among the small list of established contestants who marched into the second round. Nanao, a former world youth champion, knocked out his Gujarat rival Ravi Purohit in his opening bout.

From tomorrow, athletics will take centrestage in the Games with Kerala, featuring a host of international performers such as Tintu Luka and veteran Preeja Sreedharan, are expected to retain the top-place finish they pulled off in the 2011 Games with 9 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze medals. 

From Zee News

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