National Games round-up: Pragnya Mohan wins triathlon gold, Services continue to march ahead

Gujarat’s Pragnya Mohan made light of the surround sound of expectations to claim the 36th National Games women’s individual triathlon gold with a powerful show at the IIT Gandhinagar here on Sunday.

Gujarat’s Pragnya Mohan made light of the surround sound of expectations to claim the 36th National Games women’s individual triathlon gold with a powerful show at the IIT Gandhinagar here on Sunday.

She dominated the field with ease, notching up the third-fastest time in swimming and the fastest times in both the cycling and running legs, to leave Maharashtra’s Mansi Mohite gasping well over 5 minutes behind her. Tamil Nadu’s S. Aarthi took home the bronze.Pragnya’s gold, after finishing tenth in the last edition of the Games, has swelled Gujarat’s gold tally to an impressive 12.

Adarsh Muralidharan Sinimol bagged the men’s triathlon gold to continue Services’ medal hunt. With titles coming in Wushu and Canoeing & Kayaking, they finished the day with a tally of 51 gold, 33 silver and 29 bronze for a total of 113 medals. Haryana (31 gold) and Maharashtra (29) continued their fight for second place on the medals tally.

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Puducherry became the 28th team to win at least one gold in the 36th National Games when V. Sasikala and A. Kanimozhi beat the home side’s Manisha Zala and Nippa Barad in the women’s beach volleyball final in Surat. As many as 32 teams have now won at least a medal each in the Games so far.

Services were helped as their athletes claimed the four gold medals on offer in the Canoe and Kayak sprints on the Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad. Madhya Pradesh jumped to the 10th spot in the rankings, riding on their sweep of Slalom events. Kayaks Hitesh Kewat and Shikha Chouhan, and Canoeists Vishwajit Singh Kushwaha and Jahanvi Srivastava did the star turn for them.

Karandeep Kochhar (Chandigarh) signed his fourth sub-par card to walk away ‘ith the men’s individual golf gold with a superb score of 21-under for the four rounds at Kensville Golf and Country Club near here. His performance was insurance enough for Chandigarh to claim the Men’s Team gold as well, though his teammate Anant Singh finished with a 16-over.

Similarly, Karnataka’s Avani Prasanth starred in the women’s competition, winning the individual gold with an even-par 288 while also playing a major role in the team victory ahead of Haryana. Amanpreet Kaur (Punjab) had a forgettable round, with five bogeys on the first 9 holes to finish the day with an 8-over to lose her grip over the gold medal and take silver.

In boxing competitions at the Mahatma Mandir complex, National Championship silver medallist Ankit Sharma (Haryana), Punjab’s Sparsh Kumar (Punjab), Avinash Chandel (Himachal Pradesh) and Karan Rupini (Tripura) assured themselves of medals in the men’s 51kg class.

Ankit, a Khelo India Youth Games 2020 gold medallist, was in a league of his own in the men’s flyweight, recording a commanding 4-1 points victory over Maharashtra’s Ajay Pendor to march into the semifinals. Karan Rupini unleashed his fury in the second round with a powerful punch to deliver a knockout verdict against Rajasthan’s Bhim Pratap Singh.

The supremely-talented Haryana pugilist Minakshi, who is using the National Games to fine-tune her preparation for the Asian Championships in Amman later this month, registered a dominating victory to enter the women’s semifinals.

Defending champions Punjab set up a repeat clash with Haryana in the women’s hockey final, the two powerhouses scoring contrasting victories at the Maj. Dhyan Chand Stadium in Rajkot. Punjab got the better of a fighting Madhya Pradesh 2-1 while Haryana defeated Jharkhand 5-2 in the semifinals.

 (IANS)

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