Shivangi Sarma of Assam and Khushi Dinesh of Karnataka claimed two gold each from the swimming pool as Maharashtra continued to occupy the pole position on day eight of the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati on Friday.
On a day a 13-year-old weightlifter Golom Tinku helped Arunachal Pradesh grab their first gold, Maharashtra held on to a five-gold lead over Haryana.
With 41 gold and 43 silver in a total of 149 medals, Maharashtra remained ahead but with many gold coming from shooting and wrestling on Friday, Haryana were fast catching up with 36 gold in a total of 111 medals.
At the Bhogeswari Phukanani Indoor Stadium, Tinku won Arunachal Pradesh’s first gold medal in the Games. It looked as if he would have a tough ask when he conceded a 6kg advantage to Tamil Nadu’s Madhavan Thirumurugan at the halfway stage in the boys U-17 competition.
But with his rival recording a no lift with three failures, Tinku completed a 116kg lift in clean and jerk to total 209kg and take the lead.
Assam’s Prabal Pratim Gogoi preferred to go for silver by lifting 117kg for a total of 207kg rather than risk finishing with bronze by chasing gold. Another Arunachal Pradesh lifter Sankar Lapung took bronze with 203kg in a pulsating competition.
Haryana’s pistol shooter teenager, Vibhuti Bhutia (under-21) and Asian Youth silver medallist Shikha Narwal (under-17) stamped their authority with gold medals in the 10m Air Pistol events. Maharashtra’s Harshada Nithave was the only pistol shooter from a state other than Haryana to win a medal on Friday.
At the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education at Sonapur, Haryana scooped six of the 11 gold medals on offer on Friday. Maharashtra girls in the 46kg, 57kg and 61kg freestyle divisions, Kalyani Pandurang Gadekar, Bhagyashri Hanumant Fand and Sonali Kondiba Mandalik, ensured that state’s gold hunt would bear fruit on the wrestling mat.
Shivangi Sarma, who represented Delhi in the last Khelo India Youth Games in Pune, gave the home crowd enough reasons to cheer by first winning the 200m freestyle race by a 15-second margin. Returning to the pool to face the same rivals, her victory in the 800m freestyle event was a foregone conclusion.
Khushi Dinesh, returning to competition after a short break, won the girls under-17 freestyle events on Friday, clocking 2:10.29 in the 200m and 9:26.19 in the 800m events.
On a day when Karnataka swimmers bagged five gold, she was the toast of the contingent as the state rose to seventh on the medal table.
Kareena Shankta clocked 1:14.66 in the girls under-17 100m breaststroke in which she led a Maharashtra sweep of the medals. Her time bettered the previous best Indian performance of 1:14.87 by Saloni Dalal (Karnataka) in 2018. Kareena Shankta’s gold was one of three that Maharashtra claimed at the swimming pool.