The young Hashika Ramachandra (Karnataka) and seasoned Sajan Prakash (Kerala) are set to leave their imprint on the 36th National Games after winning two more finals each on Friday to take their gold medal haul to six and five respectively at the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex on Friday.

The pair has pulled away from the rest of the aspirants to all but seal the coveted honour of the Games’ Best Athletes.

Fourteen-year-old Hashika won gold in the Women’s 400m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley to finish her campaign with a grand six gold medals and a bronze. Her stunning show pushed the splendid efforts of Olympian Maana Patel, who won her third Backstroke gold for Gujarat, each with National Games records to boot, into the background.

Similarly, Sajan Prakash asserted his premier place despite the game challenges by Srihari Nataraj and Advait Page. The most experienced male swimmer on view snatched the 400m Freestyle from Advait Page (Madhya Pradesh) and the 200m Individual Medley from Karnataka’s S Siva.

Despite frugal returns today, Services remain unchallenged at the top of the medal table with 41 gold, 31 silver and 27 bronze for a total of 99 medals. Haryana are second with 75 medals, including 29 gold while Maharashtra are the closest to become the first to total 100 at the 2022 Games, with 26 gold among their collection of 99 so far.

Pooja Patel’s gold medal in Women’s Traditional Yogasana saw the hosts pick up their 10th gold. The home State has won 31 medals in all, across 11 disciplines, not only showcasing the rapid strides taken by its athletes in the past few years but also ensuring their best performance ever. Back in 2015, Gujarat had won a total of 20 medals, including 10 gold.

Rajasthan’s Vivaan Kapoor, third in qualification, shot superbly in the final of the men’s Trap Shooting event to win gold at the Crowne Shooting Academy on the outskirts of Gandhinagar. He could sense Punjab’s Zoravar Singh Sandhu shoot in the final with greater precision than in qualifying but he kept his nerve to take the crown.

In the Women’s Trap final, Neeru (Madhya Pradesh) shot better than the seven others to edge out Sabeera Haris (Uttar Pradesh) to the gold by a two-point difference. The vastly experienced Seema Tomar’s bronze medal added to the Services’ tally. Delhi’s Kirti Gupta who had topped the qualifications finished fourth.

At the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, World Boxing Championships medallists Simranjit Kaur Baath (Punjab) and Shiva Thapa (Assam) produced similar fury in the ring to outclass their respective opponents, and advance to their respective quarterfinals.

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Simranjit looked in ominous form in the Women’s 60kg class as she unsettled 2019 National Championship bronze medallist Rinki Sharma (Uttar Pradesh). The 2018 World bronze medallist dominated the proceedings against the 23-year-old Rinki Sharma, who looked clueless across the three rounds.

In the boxing ring, World championships medallists Simranjit Kaur Baath and Shiva Thapa produced similar fury in the ring to outclass their respective opponents, and advance to the quarterfinals of the 36th National Games at the Mahatma Mandir here on Friday.

World youth champion Sachin Siwach (57kg) of Haryana, who recently bagged a bronze in the Elorda Cup in Kazakhstan, also progressed to the last eight after dishing out a clinical show. Similarly, Asian championship bronze medalist Saweety Boora of Haryana got off to a winning start in the women’s 75kg middleweight division pre-quarterfinal bout.

Punjab boxer Simranjit looked in ominous form in her opening bout of women’s lightweight 60kg category as she unsettled 2019 National championship bronze medallist Rinki Sharma of Uttar Pradesh with ease.

The 2018 world championship bronze medallist dominated the proceedings throughout the contest, starting the bout by landing a few head shots before using her combination punches to good effect against the 23-year-old UP boxer, who looked clueless across the three rounds.

Simranjit, who was part of the Tokyo Olympics team, managed to breach through her opponent’s defence on multiple occasions, before forcing the referee to give a standing count of eight to Rinki in the final round, en-route to her unanimous 5-0 victory.

“I was playing against Rinki for the first time, so took some time to understand her style of boxing. It was a good warm-up for me going forward to the next rounds,” she said after the bout.

Besides Simranjit, the other Punjab boxers to shine were Diksha Rajpoot, who outclassed Telangana’s Narmada Munigi to clinch a RSC first round win in the women’s middleweight 75kg division. Similarly, in men’s lightweight 57kg, Vijay Kumar of Punjab recorded a stunning 5-0 win over Karnataka’s Krian BK, while in men’s welterweight 67kg, Vikash knocked out Bihar’s Haider Ali in the opening round.

Meanwhile, Shiva, known for his swift movements in the ring, warmed up in style by recording a 5-0 unanimous verdict win over home pugilist Aniket J Pandey. The home boxer was no match to the five-time Asian championship medalist from Assam, who used all his experience to keep the Gujarat boxer at bay.

“The National Games is the perfect platform to assess the talent in your weight category across the country. Every bout is important, doesn’t matter who the opponent is, we treat everyone as equal,” he said.

“As the weight divisions have changed, there are many boxers who have come up from the 63.5kg to 67kg and many from higher weights have come down, so the competition level has automatically gone up,” Shiva said after the bout.

Sachin, who has been in rollicking form of late, came out all guns blazing against Arunachal Pradesh’s Amir Tajo, in the men’s 57kg featherweight category bout. Going into the clash as a clear favourite, Sachin lived up to his billing and clinched the contest by RSC.

For the home crowd, Gujarat’s Asifali Asgharli Syed was the lone winner on the day, as the other boxers in action failed to get past their opponents. Syed registered a 5-0 win against Bihar’s Manish Kumar in the men’s 57kg featherweight category.

In the other bouts of the day, Assam’s Manju Basumatary registered a thrilling 3-2 win over Gujarat’s Hetal Sundarji Dama in the women’s flyweight 52kg opener, while Madhya Pradesh’s Anjali Sharma (52kg), Manipur’s Ojibala Thounaojam (52kg), Himachal Pradesh’s Dimple Upadhayay (60kg), Delhi’s Shalakha Singh (75kg) and Himachal’s Shreetima Thakur (75kg) also made it to the next round.

Among the men boxers, Tripura’s Karan Rupini (51kg), Rajasthan’s Bhim Pratap Singh (51kg), Himachal’s Avinash Channel (51kg) and Tamil Nadu’s Rama Krishnan Bala (51kg) registered wins. Chattisgarh’s S Sahil (57kg), Jharkhand’s Javod Dogma (57kg), Services’ Etash Khan Muhammed (60kg) also progressed to the last eight stage.

Back in Rajkot, Medhali Redkar, a 24-year-old gymnast-turned-diver, dominated the 1M Springboard Diving competition to make her National Games debut a memorable one. With her more experienced Maharashtra team-mate Hrutika Shriram unable to find the quality she sought and settling for bronze, Medhali stormed to the top of the podium.

After a long day at the Maj. Dhyan Chand Stadium, the semifinalists were spotted in the Women’s Hockey tournament. Madhya Pradesh stunned Odisha 4-2 to set up a battle with star-studded Haryana who scored half a dozen goals against hapless Karnataka. Jharkhand, who beat Uttar Pradesh 6-1 will take on Punjab in the other semifinals.

Medal Tally

Top 10 in medal tally

Rank State Gold Silver Bronze Total
01 Services Sports Control Board 42 31 27 100
02 Haryana 29 23 23 75
03 Maharashtra 26 26 48 100
04 Karnataka 21 21 33 75
05 Tamil Nadu 19 19 21 59
06 Uttar Pradesh 19 14 12 45
07 Kerala 15 15 11 41
08 Punjab 14 24 19 57
09 Manipur 14 5 12 31
10 Delhi 12 13 29 54

The results (finals):


Women’s 1m Springboard: 1. Medhali Redkar (Maharashtra) 171.50 points; 2. Ashna Chevli (Gujarat) 148.30; 3. Hrutika Shriram (Maharashtra) 145.15.
400m Freestyle: 1. Sajan Prakash (Kerala) 3:58.11; 2. Advait Page (Madhya Pradesh) 3:58.35; 3. Aneesh S Gowda (Karnataka) 3:38.85.
50m Backstroke: 1. Srihari Nataraj (Karnataka) 26.65 seconds (New National Games record. Old: 25.88, Srihari Nataraj, Rajkot, 2022); 2. V Vinayak (Services) 26.72; 3. S Siva (Karnataka) 27.11.
200m Individual Medley: 1. Sajan Prakash (Kerala) 2:05.81 (New National Games record. Old: 2:08.98, PS Madhu, Thiruvananthapuram, 2015); 2. S Siva (Karnataka) 2:07.47; 3. Rohit Benedicton (Tamil Nadu) 2:08.66.
400m Freestyle:
Hashika Ramachandra (Karnataka) 4:32.17 (New National Games Record. Old: 4:32.50, Aakanskha Vora, Thiruvananthapuram, 2015); 2. Bhavya Sachdeva (Delhi) 4:32.80; 3. Vritti Aggarwal (Telangana) 4:34.96.
50m Backstroke: 1. Maana Patel (Gujarat) 29.77 seconds (New National Games record. Old: 29.91, Maana Patel, Rajkot, 2022); 2. Riddhima Veerendrakumar (Karnataka) 30.13; 3. Sagnika Roy (West Bengal) 31.24.
200m Individual Medley: 1. Hashika Ramachandra (Karnataka) 2:26.23; 2. Manavi Varma (Karnataka) 2:27.13; 3. Shrungi Bandekar (Goa) 2:28.64..
4x100m Freestyle Relay: 1. Karnataka (Sambhavv Rao, Nina Venkatesh, S Rujula, Srihari Nataraj) 3:44.62; 2. Maharashtra 3:47.81; 2. Tamil Nadu 3:50.74.

60kg class:
Vijay Kumar Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) beat Harsh Singh (Delhi). Bronze medals: Ashish Sangwan (Haryana) and Sachin Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand).

66kg class: NK Romen Singh (Services) beat Ayush Mavari (Delhi). Bronze medals: Majgul Rohit Basirbhai (Gujarat) and K Bishal Singh (Manipur).

63kg class: H Sunibala Devi (Manipur) beat Mega Tokas (Delhi); Bronze medals: Unnati Sharma (Uttarakhand) and Pooka (Haryana).
+78kg class: Tulika Maan (Delhi) beat Kanwar Preet Kaur (Punjab); Bronze medals: Apoorva Mahesh Patil (Maharashtra) and Arti Sharma (Haryana).

1. Vivaan Kapoor (Rajasthan) 31; 2. Zoravar Singh Sandhu (Punjab) 26; 3. Balabhadra Tarashia (Services) 20.
1. Neeru (Madhya Pradesh) 26; 2. Sabeera Haris (Uttar Pradesh) 24; 3. Seema Tomar (Services) 17.

1. Vaibhav Waman Shrirame (Maharashtra) 61.84 points; 2. Shubham Debnath (West Bengal) 61.49; 3. Mohammed Firoz Sheik (Karnataka) 61.33.
1. Pooja Patel (Gujarat) 62.46 points; 2. Chakkuli Bansilal Selokar (Maharashtra) 62.34; 3. Nirmala Subhash Kodilkar (Karnataka) 60.58.

Other results:


Women’s (quarterfinals): Madhya Pradesh beat Odisha 4-2 (Half-time 3-1); Haryana beat Karnataka 6-0 (3-0); Jharkhand beat Uttar Pradesh 6-1 (3-0); Punjab beat Gujarat (15-0).

Group A:
West Bengal beat Karnataka 3-1 (Half-time: 0-0); Gujarat beat Punjab 3-2 (Half-time 2-1).

Golf (leading scores)
Men (after two rounds):
Karandeep Kochhar (Chandigarh) and Abhinav Lohan (Haryana) 134; Rohan Dhole Patil (Maharashtra) 141; Arjun Bhati (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunhit Bishnoi (Haryana) 142; Ishaan Chawan (Maharashtra) and Varun Ashish Parikh (Gujarat) 143; Aryan Roopa Anand (Karnataka) 144.
Women (after two rounds): Amandeep Kaur (Punjab) 141; Nishna Hemesh Patel (Maharashtra) 142; Avani Prashanth (Karnataka) 145; Gaurika Bishnoi (Haryana) 147; Puneet Kaur Bajwa (Punjab), Durga Nittur (Karnataka) and Vani Kapoor (Delhi) 149; Keerthana Rajeev (Karnataka) and Khushi Kanijai (Rajasthan) 150.