Services are unassailable at the top and all set to win the Raja Bhalindra Singh Trophy as the champion team in the National Games for the fourth time in succession; Maharashtra and Haryana are engaged in a keen battle for the second spot; Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are in a contest of their own as the 36th National Games is heading for a finish tomorrow.

And yet, the spotlight was well and truly on the Wushu arena in the Mahatma Mandir complex where Abhishek Jamwal, who won Jammu and Kashmir’s first gold medal, as well as on Ladakh’s Owais Sarwar Ahengar who became the first two medallists for the Union Territory who are competing in the National Games for the first time.

Services added three gold to their collection and remain on top of the charts with 56 gold, 34 silver and 30 bronze medals for a total of 120.

Maharashtra hold a four-gold lead over Haryana, thanks to the addition of the Softball men’s title and the domination of the Yogasana Artistic Group medals today. Haryana, who won gold through Ravi Panchal in Wushu here and the women’s Hockey team in Rajkot, will hope that success in the Boxing ring tomorrow would help them regain the second place behind Services.

Hosts Gujarat have registered their best show in National Games by bagging 47 medals including 13 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze. There was a dramatic Triathlon Mixed Relay silver for the hosts. Teenager Krishiv Hitesh Patel braved a broken toe to finish the cycling and running legs.

Tamil Nadu’s Akash Perumalsamy, S Keerthi, S Vaman and S Aarthi did not look the gift horse in its mouth in winning a surprise Triathlon gold. Krishiv Patel’s crash during his bicycle leg and his broken toe slowed him down considerably and despite the brave efforts by Monika Nagpure and Pragnya Mohan, Tamil Nadu won by a 41-second margin.

Kerala were hoping to win the men’s Football gold but West Bengal had other ideas. They left none in doubt about their superiority with a 5-0 hammering of Kerala in the title clash. Naro Hari Shrestha scored a hat-trick for West Bengal against the error prone team from the southern State. Surajit Hansda and Amit Chakraborty accounted for the other goals.

Maharashtra first defeated Andhra Pradesh 3-0 in the men’s Softball Final to take on Chhattisgarh in the gold medal match, called the Grand Final. They then beat Chhattisgarh 1-0 to take gold. Earlier, Punjab expectedly emerged the women’s champions with a 6-2 conquest of Kerala 6-2 in the Grand Final. Kerala had beaten Chhattisgarh 2-1 to try and unseat Punjab.

Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain as well as Commonwealth Games medalists Mohammed Hussamuddin and Jaismine Lamboria registered easy victories to storm into the Boxing finals. Eight Haryana pugilists have made it to finals and will be expected to help the State vault past Maharashtra on the overall medal table.

Earlier in the day, the 28-year-old Abhishek Jamwal’s determination to go back from here with only the gold medal came through. Having lost in the quarterfinal stage in the last two National Championships after changing to 56kg category with an eye on next year’s Asian Games, he is now hoping that the success will lead him to better things in life, including a job.

Karnataka, Haryana emerge hockey champions

Karnataka and Haryana lived up to their rankings to claim top honours in the men’s and women’s sections respectively of the National Games hockey competition at the Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium here today.

Karnataka men beat Uttar Pradesh 5-4 via the tie-breaker after the teams were locked 2-2 in regulation time. Haryana women regained the title they had lost in 2015 by edging out arch rivals Punjab by a solitary goal.

Making it to the final after 21 years, Karnataka scored through SV Sunil and Harish Mutagar while Sumit and Manish yadav replied for Karnataka in regulation time. In the penalty shoot out, Nikkin Thimmaiah CA, Harish Mutagar, Abharan Sudev, and Mohammed Raheel found the net for Karnataka while Rajkumar Pal, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Vishal Singh and Sumit were successful for Uttar Pradesh. Rajkumar Pal failed for Uttar Pradesh in the sudden death but Abharan Sudev beat Uttar Pradesh keeper Prashant Kumar to ensure the gold medal for the southerners.

Karnataka proved they meant business as they went about their job clinically by making use of the wings and short passes. Uttar Pradesh, who had sneaked into the final by beating Maharashtra via the penalty shoot out, matched their rivals with their long passes and good interceptions.

Rani Rampal’s strike turned out be the match winner in a thrilling women’s final against arch rivals Punjab.

The former India skipper, who had scored five goals against Uttar Pradesh in the semi-final, netted in the 30th minute to regain the title they had lost to the same team in Kerala in 2015.

“We have won many times, but this victory against Punjab is very special,” Rani Rampal said.

“We played well, but missed a couple of chances which made the difference,” said Punjab skipper Gurjit Kaur, who had scored the first hat-trick of the tournament.

Savita Punia stood between Punjab and victory as she brought off many saves including a one-to-one against Punjab striker Lalremsiami in the last quarter.

Earlier, Aishwarya Rajesh Chavan scored a hattrick as Madhya Pradesh beat Jharkhand 5-2, while Maharashtra prevailed over Haryana 5-4 via the tie breaker after the teams were locked 2-2 in the regulation time.

It was a good comeback by Maharashtra as they were 1-0 down till the fourth quarter. They took a 2-1 lead with five minutes to go, but Haryana came back to level the score.

The pint-size striker Aishwarya scored in the 11th 40th and 43rd minutes with Jyoti Pal and Sadhna Senger chipping in with one each for Madhya Pradesh. Sangita Kumari and Deepika Soreng found the net for Jharkhand.

Looking for their second bronze medal this year after the senior women’s nationals in Lucknow, Jharkhand were good in the second quarter, but succumbed to the better play of their rivals.

“The credit goes to the players who were disheartened after the 1-2 defeat in the semifinal to Punjab, but they have made up and we are going home with a medal,” said Raina Yadav, manager of the team.

“It is an amazing win and we thank the MP Sports Minister Yashodhara Raje who is the person behind this success. When she was the minister she made changes for the betterment of women’s hockey and the girls have reaped the fruits,,” said coach Paramjit Singh.

Madhya Pradesh made their intentions clear, striking twice in the first 15 minutes of game. Manisha Chauhan and Jyoti Singh did most of the spade work up front. They converted their first penalty and later struck with a field goal during this period. This left the Jharkhand defence in disarray. There was a fight back by the Bigan Soy-coached Jharkhand in the second quarter, but it was only time they were in the match. As the game went along, their spirit diminished and the hat-trick by Aishawarya put them off track.

“We were left wanting in many departments in the last match, and it has been a learning process. We made amends and it paid off, said jubiliant Madhya Pradesh skipper Ishika Chaudhary.

Medal Tally

Rank State Gold Silver Bronze Total
01 Services Sports Control Board 56 34 31 121
02 Maharashtra 38 38 62 138
03 Haryana 34 33 39 106
04 Karnataka 27 23 38 88
05 Tamil Nadu 25 21 27 73
06 Kerala 21 18 13 52
07 Madhya Pradesh 20 25 20 65
08 Uttar Pradesh 20 18 17 55
09 Manipur 20 9 18 47
10 Punjab 18 30 22 70

Results (finals):

Canoeing and Kayaking
K1 Sprint 200m:
1. Vishnu Reghunath (Services) 39.172 seconds; 2. Tomthilnganba Ngashepam (Odisha) 39.888; 3. Nitin Verma (Madhya Pradesh) 40.628.
C1 Sprint 200m: 1. Megha Pradeep (Kerala) 52.213 seconds; 2. Leichonbam Neha Devi (Odisha) 55.150; 3. Shivani (Uttar Pradesh) 55.210.
K1 Sprint 200m: 1. G Parvathy (Kerala) 49.167 seconds; 2. Oinam Bindya Devi (Odisha) 49.723; 3. Rajina Kiro (Andaman and Nicobar) 49.917.

West Bengal beat Kerala 5-0 (Half-time: 3-0); Bronze medal play-off: Services beat Karnataka 4-0 (Half-time: 3-0).

Karnataka beat Uttar Pradesh 2-2 (Half-time: 1-0), 4-4 in penalty shoot-out, 1-0 in sudden death. Bronze medal play-off: Maharashtra beat Haryana 2-2 (Half-time: 0-1), 3-1 in penalty shoot-out.
Women: Haryana beat Punjab 1-0 (Half-time: 1-0); Bronze medal play-off: Madhya Pradesh beat Jharkhand 5-2 (Half-time: 2-0).

Mixed Team:
Manipur beat Punjab 4-2. Bronze medals: Delhi and Haryana.

Grand Final:
Maharashtra beat Chhattisgarh 1-0; Final (to qualify for Grand Final): Maharashtra beat Andhra Pradesh 3-0.
Grand Final:
Punjab beat Kerala 6-2. Final (qualifying for Grand Final): Kerala beat Chhattisgarh 2-1.

Soft Tennis
Mixed Doubles:
Aadhya Tiwari and Jay Meena (Madhya Pradesh) beat Hetvee Chaudhari and Aniket Chirag Patel (Gujarat) 1-4, 2-4, 5-3, 5-3, 4-0, 1-4, 4-1, 4-2; Bronze medals: Ayusha Pramod Ingawale and Rahul Karbhari Ugalmule (Maharashtra) and Kalyanie Singh and Jitender Mehlda (Delhi).

Mixed Team Relay:
1. Akash Perumalsamy, S Keerthi, S Vaman and S Aarthi (Tamil Nadu) 1:59:00; 2. Krishiv Hitesh Patel, Monika Nagpure, Karan Nagpure and Pragnya Mohan (Gujarat) 1:59:41; 3. Kshetrimayum Kabidash Singh, Thoudam Saojini, Bijenkumar Laikhuram and Kshetrimayum Sonam Devi (Manipur) 2:00:24.

1. Anjul Namdeo (Services) 9.55 points; 2. Salam Marshal Singh (Manipur) 9.50; 3. Sumit Pulami (Delhi) 9.10.
Women: 1. Nyeman Wangshu (Arunachal Pradesh) 9.20 points; 2. Poorvi Soni (Madhya Pradesh) 8.50; 3. Sakshi Jatav (Madhya Pradesh) 8.36.
56kg class:
Abhishek Jamwal (Jammu and Kashmir) beat Mayank Mahajan (Punjab); Bronze medals: Omkar Anil Pawar (Maharashtra) and Apil Nagar (Uttar Pradesh).
60kg class: Ravi Panchal (Haryana) beat Vicky Rai (Services); Bronze medals: Sanket Shahaji Patil (Maharashtra) and Thangjam Naocha Metei (Manipur).
65kg class: Vikrant Baliyan (Services) beat Sachin (Haryana). Bronze medals: Ishant Singh (Jammu and Kashmir) and Owais Sarwar Ahengar (Ladakh).
70 kg class: Suraj Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) beat Abhijeet Slathia (Jammu and Kashmir). Bronze medals: Shubham Gora (Rajasthan) and Ramu Daimary (Services).
75kg class: Mukesh Choudhary (Rajasthan) beat Haobijam Gagarin Singh (Manipur). Bronze medals: Pratham Singh (Ladakh) and Pankaj Raina (Jammu and Kashmir).
52kg class:
Onilu Tega (Arunachal Pradesh) beat Namrata Batra (Madhya Pradesh). Bronze medals: Bharti Kumari (Delhi) and Jahanvi Mehra (Rajasthan).
60kg class: Naorem Roshibina Devi (Manipur) beat Ritu (Haryana). Bronze medals: Nikita Bansal (Rajasthan) and Prerna (Delhi).

Artistic Group:
1. Maharashtra (Harshal, Manan, Nitin, Om and Vaibhav) 128.64 points; 2. Haryana (Abhishek, Abhishek, Kamal, Karan and Rohit) 127.19; 3. Gujarat (Ankit, Deep Kaushikbhai Nisar, Smit Rameshbhai, Sunil) 124.26.
Artistic Group:
1. Maharashtra (Prapti, Chhakuli, Kalyani, Pradnya and Purva_ 128.80; 2. Gujarat (Darshi, Dhamishtha, Ipsa, Komal and Pooja Patel) 125.80; 3. Tamil Nadu (Gayathri, Geethiga, Nivethi, Rohini and Vaishnavi) 125.36.

Other results

Boxing (semifinals)
51kg class:
Ankit (Haryana) beat Sparsh Kumar (Punjab) on points (5-0); Avinash Chandel (Himachal Pradesh) beat Karan Rupini (Tripura) on points (5-0).

57kg class: Mohammed Hussamuddin (Services) beat Lallawmawma (Mizoram) on points (5-0); Sachin (Haryana) Aasifali Asgarali Saiyed (Gujarat) on points (5-0).

60kg class: Vijay Kumar (Punjab) beat Myson Moirangthem (Manipur) on points (4-1); Muhammed Etash Khan (Services) beat Pawan Gurung (Uttarakhand) on points (5-0).

67kg class: Sagar (Haryana) beat Chander Mohan (Himachal Pradesh) on points (3-2); Akash (Services) beat Shiva Thapa (Assam) on points (3-2).

75kg class: Nikhil Dubey (Maharashtra) beat Sumit (Services) on points (4-1); Malsawmitluanga (Mizoram) beat Pushpender Rathee (Goa) on points (5-0).

80kg class: Sachin Kumar (Services) beat Sumit Poonia (Rajasthan) on points (5-0); Vinit (Haryana) beat Harpreet (Chandigarh) on points (5-0).

92kg class: Naveen Kumar (Rajasthan) beat Kanwarpreet Singh (Punjab) on points (4-1); Sanjeet (Services) beat Neeraj Kumar (Rajasthan).

+92kg class: Narender (Services) beat Reynold Joseph (Maharashtra) on points (5-0); Sawan Gill (Chandigarh) beat Mohit (Haryana).

52kg class:
Minakshi (Haryana) beat Rashi Sharma (Uttar Pradesh) by points (5-0); Shobha Kohli (Uttarakhand) beat Anjali Sharma (Madhya Pradesh) on points (4-1).

57kg class: Poonam (Haryana) beat Jamuna Boro (Assam) on points (4-1); Mandeep Kaur (Punjab) beat Savita (Chandigarh) on points (5-0).

60kg class: Jaismine (Haryana) beat Konthoujam Pravish Chanu (Manipur) on points (5-0); Simranjit Kaur (Punjab) beat Pwilao Basumatary (Assam) on points (5-0).

66kg class: Ankushita Boro (Assam) beat Lalita (Rajasthan) on points (5-0); Alena Thounaojam (Manipur) beat Komalpreet Kaur (Punjab) on points (3-2).

75kg class: Lovlina Borgohain (Assam) beat Ruchita Rajput (Gujarat) on points (5-0); Saweety Boora (Haryana) beat Shretima Thakur (Himachal Pradesh) on points (5-0).

Volleyball (semifinals)
Tamil Nadu beat Haryana 19-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 15-13.
Women: West Bengal beat Rajasthan 25-14, 25-21, 25-18; Kerala beat Himachal Pradesh 25-20, 25-14, 25-19.