Thiruvananthapuram: Commonwealth Games bronze medallist gymnast Dipa Karmakar excelled with a haul of five gold medals for Tripura while swimmers like Kerala golden boy Sajan Prakash continued to be on a record-shattering spree on day six of competitions in the 35th National Games here.
In the overall standings, it was the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) that dominated by breaking away from the neck-and-neck competition being offered by Haryana to top the medals tally with 38 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze for a total of 61. SSCB are eyeing a third consecutive overall title.
Maharashtra rose up the ranks to second on the medals table, riding on a strong performance in the swimming pool to total 25 gold, 29 silver and 20 bronze (74). Haryana were pushed to third position with 25 gold, 13 silver and six bronze (44) medals.
Karmakar, the first Indian woman gymnast to fetch a Commonwealth Games gold, was way ahead of competition as she repeated her 2011 edition’s show to be the top performer yet again, clinching the yellow metal in individual all-round, table vault, balancing beam, uneven parallel bars and floor exercises.
Dipa, who accumulated 52.100 points in all, is the only medallist that Tripura has so far in the meet.
The overall individual silver was won by Madhya Pradesh representative Pranti Nayak (47.600), whose very participation for MP is being protested by the Bengal Olympic Association owing to her registration and training in the eastern state.
The bronze went to Bengal’s Pranati Das (43.000).
But the aquatics centre continued to be the hub of excitement as Prakash picked up his sixth gold medal in front of delirious home supporters with a new meet record in the men’s 400m individual freestyle race. Prakash clocked 3:57.16sec to set a new Games record and was followed by Maharashtra’s Saurabh Sangvekar, who also broke the meet record by clocking 3:59.70sec. The bronze went to another local boy, Anand A S (4:3.97sec).
However, the biggest shocker of the day came in the men’s 50m backstroke race in which defending champion and meet record holder Virdhawal Khade, a former Asian Games bronze-medallist, ended up fifth.
SSCB’s Madhu PS snatched the gold as well as the meet record from the Maharashtra swimmer by clocking 27.02sec.
Following him in the second place was Madhya Pradesh’s Rohit Imoliya (27.22sec) and Maharashtra’s Rohit Havaldar (27.26sec).
In the women’s race 400m individual medley, Maharashtra’s Aakanksha Vora clinched the gold with a timing of 4:32.50sec, beating Karnataka’s Malvika V (4:35.07sec) and veteran Richa Mishra (4:39.45sec), who is representing Madhya Pradesh.
However, Richa struck gold in the 200m individual medley, breaking her own record by a second to clock 2:25.78sec, finishing ahead of Tamil Nadu’s A V Jayaveena (2:26.18sec) and Karnataka’s Damini K Gowda (2:29.34sec), respectively.
In the 200m individual medly for men, Madhu out-swam favourite Prakash to notch up the gold as well as a new meet record of 2:08.98sec, beating the mark set by Virdhawal Khade in 2011. Finishing second was Karnataka’s Arvind Mani (2:09.49sec), followed by Madhya Pradesh representative and Asian Games bronze-medallist Sandeep Sejwal.
Gujarat’s 15-year-old sensation, Maana Patel then shattered an eight-year-old meet record for women’s 50m backstroke by clocking 30.68sec for the gold medal. Behind her were Maharashtra’s Jyotsana Pansare (31.36sec) and Karnataka’s Vaania K S (31.40sec), respectively.
At the shooting range here, The Services’ guns were on target in both the team and individual competitions of the men’s 50m rifle 3 position. The trio of Surendra Singh Rathod, Satyendra Singh and Chain Singh Manhas totalled 3492 to finish on top, well ahead of Haryana (Sanjeev Rajput, Mahesh Kumar and Deepak Kumar), who shot a score of 3431.
The Uttar Pradesh troika of Akhil Sheoran, Ishan Goel and Rahul Poonia settled for a bronze with a score of 3396.
SSCB then added to it a gold and a bronze in the individual competition. Satyendra clinched it in a shootoff after being tied at 445.8 with Maharashtra’s Swapnil Kusale in the regulation shots. Chain Singh Manhas, who won three gold medals overall, had to be content with a bronze despite leading the pack for quite a while during the finals.
In Thrissur, the boxing competition kicked off amid much sound and fury.
Despite Boxing India’s threat of a ban, 27 states and the Services Sports Control Board registered for the event but much to their “shock”, the organisers decided to conduct the event under the old pattern of scoring.
The move was necessitated as the organisers did not have the requisite software to implement the new system, leading to protests from participating teams, who demanded that boxers be allowed to wear headguards if every scoring punch was to fetch points as per the old norms.
The complains notwithstanding, 127 men and 55 women from 27 states and SSCB have turned to compete in the competition.
Back at the gymnastics arena, former Commonwealth Games silver-medallist and Asian Games bronze-medallist, Ashish Kumar ended his campaign with a silver (parallel bars) and a bronze (table vault), braving a heel injury through the competition.
Elsewhere, Chhattisgarh and Delhi surprisingly lifted the Beach Handball men’s and women’s gold medals despite not being coastal states. In beach volleyball, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala emerged triumphant in the men’s and women’s finals, respectively.
Madhya Pradesh dominated the women’s 1m springboard diving, bagging both the gold and silver through Radhika (108.95) and Bhavika (136.40), respectively. The bronze went to Karnataka’s Anisha Gaonkar (86.10).