Gymnasts help Maharashtra to top the leader board in KIYG

With an astounding total of 21 medals, the under-17 Maharashtra team topped the overall tally in the Khelo India Youth Games, with immense support of the home crowd, on Thursday. 
Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh hogged the lion’s share of medals. The home state bagged five of the 14 gold on offer, while Uttar Pradesh took four.
UP dominated the men’s section with four gold, while West Bengal (3) and Jammu & Kashmir (2) shared five gold in the women’s events.
In terms of medals, Maharashtra had a whopping haul of 17 medals, comprising five gold, five silver and seven bronze. UP took eight with four gold, one silver and three bronze.
Prothistha Samanta bagged three individual gold and took her personal tally to four – she had won a gold two days ago.
Jammu Kashmir’s Bavleen Kaur emerged as another major star among women, as she won two gold to take her haul to three at these Games.
However, in judo, Delhi judokas proved unstoppable, winning three gold of the six at stake on the opening day of the event.
On a day that saw action confined to the Under-17s, the three other golds were shared by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.
Delhi began their gold rush in the girl’s section when Manini Singh bagged the 44kgs honours in an an ‘all Delhi final’ against Muskan Manini 1 Ippon.
Navika then fought off the stiff challenge of Kabi Doyon (Arunachal Pradesh) by a 2-1 Waza-ari count. In the boy’s section, Kunal Vats (-60kgs) turned the tables on the well-built Money Sharma (Punjab) by 1 Ippon.
At the end of the day Delhi had three gold, one silver and two bronze and topped the day with six medals in their kitty. Haryana were second best with four medals (one gold, two silver, one bronze).
In athletics, Punjab’s Kunwer Ajai Raj Singh Rana stole the show with a 75.40m throw that earned him the Under-17 javelin throw gold.
Rana gave himself an early birthday present with the gold medal. The thrower who trains at the Punjab Institute of Sports will turn 17 on Saturday.
The 16-year-old Suraj Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) came up with a personal best throw of 73.42m which was enough only to keep his nose ahead of Sudama Yadav (Bihar) for second place. But the fact that these three throwers went past the 70m mark is indication of the inherent talent among young Indians in a rather technical event.
Maharashtra’s tribal wonder Tai Bamhane, who clocked a personal best time of 4:25.66 in the Asian Area qualification leg of the Youth Olympic Games, was not at her best in the girls under-17 1500m final.
Tamil Nadu’s Karuniya Muthuramalingam, who turns 19 on Friday, was another gifting herself an early birthday present with the girls Under-21 discus throw title, beating back Arpandeep Kaur Bajwa (Punjab) and Seema (Haryana).
In football, mixed fortunes marked Kerala's opening fixtures in the Khelo India Youth Games football competition with the U-21 boys team dropping a point to Chandigarh and their U-17 girls swamping Himachal Pradesh by a 28-0 margin.
Punjab opened their campaign with a whirlwind 6-1 win over Uttarakhand in the boys U-17 section.
Tamil Nadu had to wage a grim battle to down Odisha 1-0 in their U-21 girls opener. Later, scoring twice in each half, Karnataka collected full points with a 4-1 win over Mizoram in the U-21 tournament.
However in the under-17 competition, Mizoram got the better of hosts Maharashtra 3-0. In a U-21 girls match Mizoram trounced Himachal Pradesh 13-0.
In hockey, Punjab and Haryana recorded big wins to enter the boys Under-17 semi- finals. Completing the line-up in this section were Uttar Pradesh and Odisha who also had easy closing pool engagements.
In Pool B, Punjab thrashed Jharkhand 9-4 and Haryana overpowered Chandigarh 4-0. In Pool A, Uttar Pradesh put it across Maharashtra 5-3 and Odisha downed Delhi 3-1.
In wrestling, Haryana underlined their supremacy, winning all seven gold medals in the girls’ under-17 weight category even without their star internationals Anshu and Sonam.
Along with seven golds, Haryana took home one silver and five bronze medals. Hosts Maharashtra put up a game fight but had to be content with two silver and five bronze medals in the girls’ segment.
In the boys’ under-21 Greco Roman category, Haryana won two gold and two silver medals, while Maharashtra earned silver medals from Gokul Yadav (77kg) and Rohit Ahire (72kg). A bronze came from Digvijay in 97kg.
Mizoram continued to dominate weightlifting by clinching two gold, one silver and a bronze in the men’s 61kg (youth and junior combined) and a gold and silver each in the men’s 67kg (youth and junior)
Gulam Navi of Uttarakhand denied Jeremy the gold in the U-21s while K. Neelam Raju of Andhra Pradesh took bronze.
In swimming, Srihari Natraj won his first gold medal in the 200 metre freestyle Under-21 category.
The lanky Karnataka swimmer completed the race in a minute and 53.22 seconds.
The 800-metre freestyle Under-17 girls category saw Prachi Tokas of Delhi take the gold in a little over 9.5 minutes.
Thursday was dominated by Delhi’s swimmers who took away 11 medals which included four gold, two silver and five bronze while Karnataka were next best with nine (four gold, three silver and two bronze). Maharashtra were third with five medals in all that were burnished by three golds.

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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