Pole-vaulter Rosy Meena Paulraj (Tamil Nadu) scaled new heights to share the spotlight with weightlifter and state-mate N Ajith, both rewriting National records in the 36th National Games in Gandhinagar on Saturday.
Rosy Meena Paulraj, 24, was able to improve her personal best from 4.00m to 4.20m to break VS Surekha’s National as well as National Games records set in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Ajith broke the National Record in the clean and jerk with a lift of 174kg to push National Games record efforts by track and field athletes into the shade.
Long-jumper Jeswin Aldrin (Tamil Nadu) was the biggest winner on the second day of track and field competition at IIT Gandhinagar. He first claimed the National Games record when he leapt to 8.21m effort on his third try. Even as Commonwealth Games medal winner M Sreeshankar passed his last four attempts, Jeswin Aldrin improved to 8.26m on his last attempt.
Shot-putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Services) and 400m runner Muhammed Ajmal (Kerala) also rewrote National Games marks.
Toor, who did not make a single attempt in the World Athletics Championships in Oregon with a groin strain, made a memorable return to competition. He first equalled the National Games men’s shot put record with a 20.14m effort on his fourth try and capped that with a 20.75m heave on the final attempt.
Jyothi Yarraji (Andhra Pradesh) and Amlan Borgohain (Assam) who both train at the Odisha High-Performance Centre in Bhubaneswar, claimed the titles of the fastest woman and fastest man of the National Games. Jyothi won the women’s 100m in a star-studded field, clocking 11.51 seconds.
“I didn’t come here thinking of winning or losing. I just wanted to give a good time and today I could come up with my fastest,” said Jyothi Yarraji, who felt Dutee Chand (sixth) and Hima Das (seventh) may not have been in the best of forms.
Archana Suseendran (Tamil Nadu) and Diandra Valladares (Maharashtra) flanked Jyothi Yarraji on the podium.
Amlan Borgohain, who had pegged the National Games men’s 100m record at 10.28 seconds in the semifinals on Friday, was a tenth of a second slower in the final but he was still clear of the Tamil Nadu pair of VK Elakiyadasan and B Siva Kumar.
100m: 1. Amlan Borgohain (Assam) 10.38 seconds; 2. VK Elakiyadsasan (Tamil Nadu) 10.44; 3. B Siva Kumar (Tamil Nadu) 10.48.
400m: 1. Muhammed Ajmal (Services) 46.29 seconds (New National Games record. Old: 46.30, Amoj Jacob, Gandhinagar, 2022); 2. Rajesh Ramesh (Tamil Nadu) 46.45; 3. Amoj Jacob (Delhi) 46.62.
5000m: 1. Abhishek Pal (Uttar Pradesh) 14:07.25; 2. Kartik Kumar (Services) 14:08.24; 3. Sawan Barwal (Services) 14:10.53.
Long Jump: 1. Jeswin Aldrin (Tamil Nadu) 8.26m (New National Games record. Old: 8.04, Ankit Sharma, Thiruvananthapuram, 2015); 2. M Sreeshankar (Kerala) 7.93; 3. Muhammed Anees Yahiya (Kerala) 7.92.
Shot Put: 1. Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Services) 20.75m (New National Games record. Old: 20.14, Inderjeet Singh, Thiruvananthapuram, 2015); 2. Karanveer Singh (Punjab) 19.17; 3. Inderjeet Singh (Haryana) 18.64.
4x100m Relay: 1. Tamil Nadu (Kathiravan, VK Elakiyadasn, S Jayakumar and B Siva Kumar) 40.01 seconds; 2. Kerala 40.45; 3. Maharashtra 40.67.
100m: 1. Jyothi Yarraji (Andhra Pradesh) 11.51 seconds; 2. Archana Suseendran (Tamil Nadu) 11.55; 3. Diandra Valladares (Maharashtra) 11.62.
400m: 1. Aishwarya Kailash Mishra (Maharashtra) 52.62 seconds; 2. Dandi Jyothikasri (Andhra Pradesh) 53.30; 3. Rupal Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) 53.41.
5000m: 1. Parul Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) 16:34.68; 2. Seema (Himachal Pradesh) 16:36.18; 3. Sanjivani Jadhav (Maharashtra) 16:39.97.
Pole Vault: 1. Rosy Meena Paulraj (Tamil Nadu) 4.20m (New National and National Games record. Old NR: 4.15, VS Surekha, New Delhi, 2014. Old NGR: 4.00, VS Surekha, Thiruvananthapuram, 2015); 2. Pavitha Vengatesh (Tamil Nadu) 4.00; 3. Baranica Elangovan (Tamil Nadu) 3.90.
Discus Throw: 1. Nidhi Rani (Haryana) 51.65m; 2. Neetika Verma (Uttar Pradesh) 51.58; 3. Paramjot Kaur (Punjab) 51.28.
4x100m relay: 1. Kerala (VS Bhavika, PD Anjali, AP Shilbi and AP Shelda) 45.52 seconds; 2. Tamil Nadu 45.54; Madhya Pradesh 46.03.
An employee of the Railways, Ajith took the 73kg class gold medal with total lifts of 315kg. The 174kg effort in clean and jerk broke Achinta Sheuli’s National mark of 173kg. He held a 11kg advantage over the Services lifter after lifting 141kgs in his third attempt in Snatch. He opened clean and jerk with 165kg on his first attempt and raised the bar to 174kg for the milestone.
Representing Services, Achinta was a pale shadow of his own self. He started off with two no lifts in snatch before completing a lift of 130kg. He ended up with silver with a total of 295kg, preferring to skip his third attempt in clean and jerk. Kerala’s Devapreedhan B took the bronze medal with a total of 281kg.
67kg class: 1. Subhash Lahre (Services) Snatch 121kg, Clean & Jerk 154kg, Total 275kg; 2. K Neelam Raju (Andhra Pradesh) 124, 146, 270; 3. Sushant Sahu (Odisha) 119, 151, 270.
73kg class: 1. N Ajith (Tamil Nadu) 141, 174 (New National record. Old: 173, Achinta Sheuli, 2022), 315; 2. Achinta Sheuli 130, 165, 295; 3. B Devapreedhan (Kerala) 125, 165, 290.
59kg class: 1. S Bindyarani Devi (Manipur) Snatch 83kg, Clean & Jerk 111kg, Total 194kg; 2. Popy Hazarika (Assam) 85, 108, 193; 3. Davinder Kaur (Punjab) 85, 107, 192.
There were three wonderful examples of athletes holding their nerves under pressure. Gujarat women’s tennis team retained the National Games gold by beating back a Maharashtra challenge. Ankita Raina and Vaidehee Choudari reeled off eight games in a row when trailing 2-4 in the opening set of the doubles rubber at the Riverside Sports Complex in Ahmedabad.
Ankita Raina first beat Rutuja Bhosale in a must-win second singles rubber. The experienced campaigner was unperturbed by the pressure and dropped just one game in the opening set. Rutuja Bhosale took a 3-2 lead in the second set by breaking her opponent’s serve but Ankita Raina held on to clinch the match in straight sets.
Men: Maharashtra beat Services 2-0 (Manas Dhamne beat Faisal Omar 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Arjun Khade beat Ishaque Eqbal 6-2, 6-3).
Women: Gujarat beat Maharashtra 2-1 (Zeel Desai lost to Vaishnavi Adkar 4-6, 2-6; Ankita Raina beat Rujuta Bhosale 6-1, 6-4; Ankita Raina and Vaidehee Choudari beat Rutuja Bhosale and Vaishnavi Adkar 6-4, 6-0).
Telangana teenager Esha Singh lived up to her own expectations of producing a good show at the National Games when she stood out in a strong field to win the women’s 25m Pistol gold. She first topped qualifications with 584 points, one more than Olympian Manu Bhaker (Haryana). She needed to win a shoot-off against Vibhuti Bhatia (Haryana) after her Ranking Match.
Up against Rhythm Sangwan (Haryana), Abhidnya Ashok Patil (Maharashtra) and Manu Bhaker in the medal match, she scored 26 points to claim the title. Rhythm Sangwan took silver with 25 and Abhidnya Patil the bronze with 19 ahead of Manu Bhaker (10). “I’m over the moon. It is always special to win a gold in National Games. It was a close affair and Rhythm was on my heels. I had to keep cool in the last two shots to win gold,” she said.
Women’s 25m Pistol: 1. Esha Singh (Telangana) 26 points; 2. Rhythm Sangwan (Haryana) 25; Abhindyna Ashok Patil (Maharashtra) 19.
Mixed Team 10m Air Rifle: Haryana (Arshdeep Singh, Ramita) beat Madhya Pradesh (Shreya Agarwal, Aishawary Pratap Singh Tomar) 17-9. Bronze medal play-offs: Tamil Nadu (R Narmadha Nithin, Sri Karthik Sabari Raj) beat Punjab (Samiksha Dhingra, Arjun Babuta) 16-12 and Rajasthan (Nisha Kanwar, Divyansh Singh Panwar) beat Uttar Pradesh (Shreya Saksena, Vidit Jain) 16-8.
It was with a similar display of composure under pressure that Shaista Sharma (Delhi) hogged the limelight at the Kensville Golf and Country Club in Dholera near here. She scored 9 points in the final four ends of the women’s singles lawn bowls final to transform a 12-17 deficit into a 21-17 victory over Sarita Tirkey (Jharkhand).
Lawn Bowls Results
Men’s Pairs: Assam (Mridul Bora and Ruptu Gogoi) beat Delhi (Navneet Singh and Ayush Bhardwaj) 18-16; Bronze medal play-off: West Bengal (Agnesh Verma and Soumen Banerjee) beat Jharkhand 14-13.
Men’s Triples: Assam (Ananda Kumar Narzary, Putul Sonowal and Mridul Borgogain) beat West Bengal (Samit Malhotra, Akshat Musaddi and Karan Chowdhury) 25-6; Bronze medal play-off: Jharkhand (Avishek Lakra, Prince Kumar Mahto and Chandan Kumar Singh) beat Delhi 23-10. Semifinals: Assam beat Delhi 26-8; West Bengal beat Jharkhand 23-10.
Women’s Singles: Shaista Sharma (Delhi) beat Sarita Tirkey (Jharkhand) 21-17. Bronze medal play-off: Nayanmoni Saikia (Assam) beat Beena Shah (West Bengal) 21-10.
Women’s Fours: Jharkhand (Anamika Lakra, Kavita Kumari, Lovely Choubey and Rupa Rani Tirkey) beat Assam (Bangita Hazarika, Adinita Kakoty, Ananys Saika, Tania Choudhary) 23-11; Bronze medal play-off: West Bengal (Renu Mohta, Manisha Srivastava, Reema Pawa and Anchal Malhotra) beat Delhi 16-10. Semifinals: Jharkhand beat West Bengal 17-7; Assam beat Delhi 22-8.
Other important results:
Time Trial (1000m): 1. Laetonjam Ronaldo Singh (Manipur) 1.02.343, 2. David Beckham (Andaman & Nicobar) 1.02.782, 3. Amarjit Singh (Punjab) 1.05.572.
Scratch Race (15km): 1. Vishwajit Singh (Punjab), 2. Syed Burhan Ali (Uttar Pradesh), 3. Venkappa Kelangagutty
Individual Pursuit (4km): Dinesh Kumar (Services) 4.34.941, Vishwajit Singh (Punjab) 4.41.633, 3. Manjit Singh (Services)
Time Trial (500m): 1. Trisha Pal (West Bengal) 35.666, 2. M. Sonali Chanu (Manipur) 36.607, 3. Mayuri Lute (Maharashtra) 36.837.
Scratch Race (10km): 1. Meenakshi (Haryana), 2. Chayanika Gogoi (Assam), 3. T. Manorama Devi.
Individual Pursuit (3km): Razia Devi (Manipur) 3.54.254 mins, 2. Meenakshi (Haryana) 3.54.505, 3. Kirti Rangaswamy (Karnataka) 4.00.585.
Men’s Individual All-Around finals: 1. Gaurav Kumar (Services) 77.135 points; 2. Debang Dey (Services) 76.432; 3. Siddharth Verma (Uttar Pradesh) 75.394.