Gujarat’s ace shooter Elavenil Valarivan gave the hosts their fourth gold even as several favourites, including Olympic silver medallist weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, pathbreaking fencer Bhavani Devi and wrestler Divya Kakaran, lived up to their top billing and pocketed gold medals in their respective events in the 36th National Games on Friday.
Meanwhile in athletics, as many as nine National Games records were broken.
The women’s 49kg weightlifting competition unfolded on expected lines in the 36th National Games, with a tactical battle between Mirabai Chanu and Sanjita Chanu at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on Friday. In the end, Mirabai walked away with the gold with a total lift of 191 kgs (Snatch 84kg, Clean & Jerk 107 kgs) while Sanjita won the silver medal with a total lift of 187 kgs (Snatch 82kg, C&J 105kg). Odisha’s Sneha Soren picked the bronze after totalling 169kg (Snatch 73kg, C&J 96kg).
Participating in her second National Games, Mirabai revealed that she was nursing an injury in her left wrist, due to which she didn’t turn up for both her third attempts. “I recently injured my left wrist during training at NIS, Patiala, after which I made sure not to risk it further. The World Championships are coming up in December,” she said.
“It is a proud moment for me to represent Manipur at the National Games, and the excitement doubled when I was asked to lead the contingent at the Opening Ceremony. It normally gets hectic to attend opening ceremonies as my event starts early the next day, but I felt I must challenge myself this time around,” she added.
The diminutive Manipuri, who is aiming for her first podium finish at the Asian Games next year, prefers to stay in the moment, and focus on the Worlds where she is expected to be up against weightlifters from the Asian powerhouses.
“Yes, an Asian Games medal is missing from the cabinet, and it’s something that’s on the back of my mind. It will my first Asian Games after missing out on the 2018 edition with a back injury. The competition level at the Asiad will be great, but for me, the main focus now is the Worlds, where I will get to compete against the same weightlifters,” the 28-year-old said.
In Snatch, Mirabai seized an early advantage by raising the bar to 81kgs in her very first attempt, before a clean effort of 84kg in her second lift gave her a cushion of 3kgs over her statemate Sanjita, who could manage 80kg and 82kgs in her first two attempts. Sanjita’s third attempt of lifting 84kg was adjudged a foul. Mirabai preferred to save her energy and didn’t turn up for the third attempt.
In Clean and Jerk, Sanjita lifted 95kgs in her first attempt before raising the bar to 100kg and 105kg, with all three attempts getting the green light from the judges. All eyes were pinned on Mirabai as she was greeted with thunderous applause from the crowd, that included a large Manipuri contingent. The Birmingham Commonwealth Games gold medallist successfully lifted 103 in her first attempt before returning to lift 107kg to confirm the centre spot on the podium. She didn’t need a third attempt to take home the gold.
Elated after confirming the first medals for their state, the two Manipur weightlifters joined the rest of the members of the contingent. A visibly emotional Sanjita, considering the mental demons she had overcome for the silver, said, “This is a special moment for me. But congratulations to Mirabai. She deserves all the praise and accolades for her brilliant effort. It feels great to compete at the National Games, and represent my state. The last time (in Kerala 2015), I won the gold in a lower weight category, but after seven years, the level of competition definitely goes up.”
49kg class: 1. Mirabai Chanu (Manipur) Snatch 84kg, Clean & Jerk 107kg, Total 191kg; 2. Sanjita Chanu (Manipur) 82, 105, 187; 3. Sneha Soren (Odisha) 73, 96, 16
The athletics arena at IIT, Gandhinagar was on fire, with as many as nine Games’ records falling during the course of the action-packed day.
Munita Prajapati (Uttar Pradesh) and 17-year-old Parvej Khan (Services) were the stars of the day, with Munita setting the first record of this edition in the Women’s 20km walk. She clocked a commendable 1 hour 38 minutes 20 seconds.
Parvej Khan, then, did one better, breaking the highly-rated Bahadur Prasad’s 28-year-old Games record in the men’s 1500m to the delight of the fraternity. He slashed nearly two seconds off his personal best time to win the metric mile gold in 3:40.89.
2018 Asian Games decathlon champion Swapna Barman, competing in Madhya Pradesh colours here, claimed the women’s High Jump record with a clearance of 1.83m while Praveen Chithravel (Tamil Nadu) made light of a depleted Triple Jump field to win gold with a Games record effort of 16.68m.
Damneet Singh (Punjab) in the men’s Hammer Throw and Kiran Baliyan (Uttar Pradesh) in women’s Shot Put also entered the record books. In the men’s 100m semifinals, Amlan Borgohain (Assam) also broke the National Games record, set at 10.45 seconds by Haryana’s Dharambir Singh in Thiruvananthapuram in 2015.
Amlan Borgohain, who has been in good form this season, stopped the clock at 10.28 seconds, two-hundredths of a second outside the National Record held by Amiya Kumar Mallick since 2016.
The results (finals):
1500m: 1. Parvej Khan (Services) 3:40.89 (New National Games Record. Old: 3:43.57, Bahadur Prasad, Pune, 1994); 2. Ajay Kumar Saroj (Uttar Pradesh) 3:41.58; 3. Arjun Waskale (Madhya Pradesh) 3:42.31.
Triple Jump: 1. Praveen Chithravel (Tamil Nadu) 16.68m (New National Games Record. Old: 16.66m, Renjit Maheshwary, Thiruvananthapuram, 2015); 2. AB Arjun (Kerala) 16.08; 3. Arpinder Singh (Punjab) 15.97.
Hammer Throw: 1. Damneet Singh (Punjab) 67.62m (New National Games Record. Old: 66.79, Harvinder Singh, Ranchi, 2011); 2. Nitesh Poonia (Rajasthan) 67.27; 3. Niraj Kumar (Services) 65.25.
20km Race Walk: 1. Devender Singh (Services) 1:26:25.00; 2. Suraj Panwar (Uttarakhand) 1:26:25.00; 3. Akshdeep Singh (Services) 1:28:15.00
1500m: 1. K M Chanda (Delhi) 4:19.59; 2. Ankita Dhyani (Uttarakhand) 4:19.86; 3. KM Deeksha (Madhya Pradesh) 4:20.94.
High Jump: 1. Swapna Barman (Madhya Pradesh) 1.83m (New National Games Record. Old: 1.82, Bobby Aloysius, Ludhiana, 2001); 2. Abhinaya S Shetty (Karnataka) 1.81; 3. Grace Glistus Merley (Tamil Nadu) 1.81.
Shot Put: 1. Kiran Baliyan (Uttar Pradesh) 17.14m (New National Games Record. Old: 16.54m, Harbans Kaur, Imphal, 1999); 2. Manpreet Kaur (Punjab) 16.77; 3. Manpreet Kaur (Haryana) 16.76.
Hammer Throw: 1. Sarita Romit Singh (Uttar Pradesh) 61.03m; 2. Rekha Singh (Uttarakhand) 59.51; 3. Reni (Haryana) 58.74.
20km Race Walk: 1. Munita Prajapati (Uttar Pradesh) 1:38:20.00 (New National Games Record. Old: 1:40:35.00, Sapna, Thiruvananthapuram, 2015); 2. Mansi Negi (Uttarakhand) 1:41:28.00; 3. Reshma Patel (Uttarakhand) 1:42:10.00.
Powered by Ankita Raina, Gujarat women’s team continued their march into the tennis final with an easy win over Karnataka. They will start favourites in the gold medal match against Maharashtra at the Riverside Sports Complex on Saturday.
The women’s tennis team also stayed on course to defend their gold medal, defeating Karnataka 2-0 in the semifinals at the Sabarmati Riverfront sports complex.
Vaidehi Choudhary gave Gujarat the lead with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Vanshita Pathania and the experienced Ankita Raina closed out the tie with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Sharmada Balu.
Men’s Team semifinals: Services beat Delhi 2-0;
Women’s Team semifinals: Gujarat beat Karnataka 2-0; Maharashtra beat Tamil Nadu 2-0.
Gujarat’s star, Elavanil, began the final rather slowly and moved to top spot after the second series. The leader board kept changing till the last shot in the fifth series and Elavenil managed to pip Mehuli Ghosh by 0.3 points to set up a gold medal match with top ranked Tilottama Sen.
In the final, Elavenil took an early 4-0 lead and though Tilottama tried to keep pace with the eventual champion by winning a couple of points at regular interval but could not avoid a 16-10 loss.
Men’s 10m Air Rifle: Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil (Maharashtra) beat Arjun Babuta (Punjab) 17-7; Bronze: Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (Madhya Pradesh).
Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Medal match: Anish Bhanwala (Haryana) 30; Ankur Goel (Uttarakhand) 22; Gurmeet Singh (Services) 18; Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu (Punjab) 12.
Women’s 10m Air Rifle: Elavenil Valarivan (Gujarat) beat Tilottama Sen (Karnataka) 16-10; Bronze medal: Mehuli Ghosh (West Bengal).
Among the favourites, Bhavani Devi (Tamil Nadu) completed a hat-trick of women’s Sabre individual gold medals in the National Games. Having barely slept after flying in from her training base in France and having carried the Tamil Nadu flag in the athletes’ parade yesterday, she spent a productive day at the Mahatma Mandir, asserting her primacy as India’s best Sabre fencer.
Men’s Foil: Bibish Kathiresan (Services) beat Arjun (Services) 15-11. Bronze medals: Veluatham Vinoth Kumar (Tamil Nadu) and Bikcy Thokchom (Services).
Women’s Sabre: Bhavani Devi (Tamil Nadu) beat Jagmeet Kaur (Punjab) 15-3; Bronze medals: Christy Jose Josna (Kerala) and Laishram Abi Devi (Manipur).
Divya Kakaran (Uttar Pradesh) stopped a Haryana sweep of all six gold medals at stake on the opening of Wrestling competition. She won the women’s 76kg class title, beating Haryana’s Reetika in the quarterfinals and Rohini Satya Shivani (Telangana) and Rani (Himachal Pradesh) with a measure of comfort.
57kg class: Aman (Haryana); 2. Udit (Haryana); 3. Rohit Patel (Madhya Pradesh) and Abhishek Dhaka (Delhi).
97kg class: 1. Deepak Nehra (Haryana); 2. Sahil (Punjab); 3. Sahil (Delhi) and Pareven Kumar (Haryana).
67kg class: 1. Ashu (Haryana); 2. Karanjeet Singh (Punjab); 3. Neeraj (Delhi) and Moirangthem Taibanganba (Manipur).
87kg class: 1. Sunil Kumar (Haryana); 2. Harpreet Singh (Punjab); 3. Ravinder Kumar (Services) and Chhagan Meena (Rajasthan).
62kg class: 1. Manisha (Haryana); 2. Freedom Yadav (Uttar Pradesh); 3. Tannu Mallik (Uttarakhand) and Poonam (Chandigarh).
76kg class: Divya Kakaran (Uttar Pradesh) beat Rani (Himachal Pradesh) 4-0; Bronze medals: Reetika (Haryana) and Bipasha (Delhi).
Haryana men and Odisha women claimed the Rugby 7s gold medals respectively with victories over Maharashtra teams. Haryana men played a better second half to sprint away from 7-7 at the break to a 19-7 win. Odisha women, who stunned National Champions Bihar in the semifinals, dominated their title clash, opening up a 15-0 lead in the first half in a 22-0 win.
Men: Haryana beat Maharashtra 19-7 (Half-time 7-7); Bronze medal play-off: Delhi beat West Bengal 29-24 (17-0). Semifinals: Haryana beat Delhi 31-5 (Half-time 19-0); Maharashtra beat Bengal 22-12 (12-5).
Women: Odisha beat Maharashtra 22-0 (15-0); Bronze medal play-off: Bihar beat Delhi 14-5 (14-0). Semifinals: Maharashtra beat Delhi 12-10 (12-0); Odisha beat Bihar 12-10 (7-10).
Gujarat had plenty to cheer though, with their Netball Men’s team adding a fifth medal after the Technical Committee awarded the bronze to them as well as their opponents, Delhi, following a tie in their bronze medal play-off. Haryana scored a golden double in Netball, their men’s team defeating Telangana 75-73 in a thriller that went to the wire and their women quelling Punjab’s challenge 53-49. In the men’s final, Telangana gained the upper-hand in the first two quarters and taking a slender 28-27 lead. However, Haryana stepped on the pedal in the third quarter and wrested the advantage.
Men: Haryana beat Telangana 75-73 (27-28); Bronze medal play-off: Delhi drew with Gujarat 65-65 (28-28).
Women: Haryana beat Punjab 53-49 (30-20); Bronze medal play-off: Karnataka drew with Bihar 57-57 (24-20).
Other important results:
Women’s Singles: Group A: Nayanmoni Saikia (Assam) beat Chingakham Surajbala Devi (Manipur) 21-7; Beena Shah (West Bengal) beat Vaishali Makvana (Gujarat) 21-4.
Group B: Shaista Sharma (Delhi) beat Sarita Tirkey (Jharkhand) 20-13; Anamika Kumari (Bihar) beat Saina Naika (Odisha) 21-16.