The 24-member Indian contingent won five medals at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games that concluded on Friday in Trinbago. Between August 5-11, over 1000 athletes from 71 Commonwealth countries competed across seven sports that included athletics, beach volleyball, cycling, netball fast 5, rugby sevens, swimming and triathlon.
India competed in cycling, triathlon, swimming and athletics – six each in cycling and swimming, four in triathlon and eight members in athletics. The event, meant only for under-18 athletes, was postponed from its original schedule in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and scheduling conflicts with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
India’s tally of five medals included one silver in swimming (men’s individual 400m medley), three bronze and one silver in athletics – women’s 800m, women’s shot put, women’s high jump and men’s javelin throw.
On the last day of the event, Asha Kiran Barla won a silver medal in 800m with a timing of 2:04.99s. This timing was just a few miliseconds short of her personal best mark of 2:04.82, achieved at the Federation Cup in May. England’s Gill Phoebe clinched the gold medal with a timing of 2:02.30s and Cooper Fleur of Australia rounded off the podium with a bronze medal effort of 2:05.86s.
The first medal for India at the Commonwealth Youth Games came when Ganguly won silver in men’s 400m individual medley with a time of 4:25.47, finishing behind England’s Reece Grady (4:24:16). Scotland’s Evan Davidson won the bronze with a swim of 4:25:68.
Along with his silver medal, Ganguly surpassed Aryan Nehra’s timing of 4:27:62 which he had set at the Nationals last month to set a new National record.
The other events Ganguly competed in were men’s 200m freestyle where he finished seventh with a timing of 1:53.47 and men’s 200m individual medley where he also finished seventh with a timing of 2:06.68.
On the same day, Anupriya Valliyot Sasi won bronze in women’s shot put with a distance of 15.62m in her third attempt, doing enough despite failing her final two attempts. The gold medal went to South Africa’s Alicia Eli Khunou (17.97), who set a tournament record, with Australia’s Xylavene Beale (16.31) finishing with silver.
The final day also saw Pooja achieve a new personal best distance of 1.75m in the women’s high jump, winning the bronze medal. Her feat in Trinbago crossed her earlier personal best of 1.73m recorded during the National Inter-State Athletics Championships.
Pooja was tied with Lousin-Roe Izobelle as both maintained -0.03 gap while taking off. Australia’s Stolberg Toby and England’s Brown Thea won the gold and silver medals respectively.
On the same day, in javelin throw, Arjun, the Asian Youth Athletics Championships silver medallist from Delhi, secured a bronze medal with an effort of 65.94m. He finished behind Jansen Willem Schalk Jacobus and Rutter Tom, who won the gold and silver medals.
In other results, Ridhima Kumar Veerendra finished seventh in women’s 50m backstroke with a timing of 30.04s. Palak Joshi finished in fifth place with a timing of 2:19.24, one second behind her national record timing in women’s 400m backstroke set during the National Aquatics Championships back in July. Ridhima herself finished eighth in the same event with a timing of 2:27.80.
Santhosh Utkarsh Patil fell short of a medal finish in men’s 200m backstroke and finished fourth with a timing of 2:04.82.
He also finished ninth jointly with Singapore’s Reagan Kuo Shiong Cheng with a timing of 27.57 in men’s 50m backstroke. Patil also finished sixth in men’s 100m backstroke with a timing of 58.12 and eighth in men’s 200m butterfly with a timing of 2:08.15.
Vedaant Mahadevan finished fifth in men’s 1500m freestyle with a timing of 15:50.85. Hashika Ramachandra finished sixth in women’s 400m freestyle with a timing of 4:27.07.
The 4x400m mixed relay team of Barla, Navpreet Singh, Shireen Ahluwalia and Bapi Hansda finished sixth in the final with a timing of 3:31.79.
Abhay Singh did not finish his race in the men’s 200m event while Navpreet narrowly missed out on the bronze medal in men’s 400m, finishing miliseconds behind England’s Beck Alexander with a timing of 48.20. Hansda finished eighth in men’s 400m hurdles with a timing of 1:05.29.