Ahmedabad: Defending champions Services Sports Control Board mounted a concerted medal charge on Sunday, with their rowers in Ahmedabad, wrestler Deepanshu in Gandhinagar, and springboard diver Siddharth Pardeshi in Rajkot picking up several gold medals in the 36th National Games on Sunday.
Trained at the Army Rowing Node, Jasveer Singh and Iqbal Singh claimed the Men’s Pair title in 6:34.06, finishing nearly 8 seconds ahead of the Maharashtra pair of Omkar Mhaske and Vipul Ghurde.
The Fours team of Jaswinder Singh, Bheem Singh, Punit Kumar and Ashish were also handsome winners, beating Punjab by 5 seconds to give them something more to cheer.
Odisha’s Sonali Swain and Ritu Kaudi powered their way to gold with a classy display in the Women’s Pair final. Winners of gold in the Asian Junior Championships four years ago, the rowers who train at the SAI Centre in Jagatpur, beat the Kerala pair of A Archa and Aleena Anto by six seconds.
At the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex in Rajkot, diver Siddharth Pardeshi wrote himself into the record books as the winner of the first gold medal in the National Games Aquatics competitions. The experienced Nashik-born diver beat his teammate and National Champion H London Singh to win the crown.
Astha Choudhury (Assam) became the first swimmer to rewrite a Games Record in topping the women’s 100m Butterfly heats even as Sajan Prakash (Kerala) and Sambhavv Rao (Karnataka) caught the eye by making it to two individual finals and the 4x100m Freestyle Relay.
At the well-appointed Mahatma Mandir complex in Gandhinagar, Jasvir Kaur (Punjab) won the women’s 64kg class weightlifting gold with total lifts of 200kg, edging out Andhra Pradesh’s S Pallavi with a better effort in the clean & jerk competition. Manipur’s S. Nirupama Devi strove to get to the podium but her weak efforts in Snatch dragged her down.
Late on Saturday evening, Haryana’s grapplers won four of the six wrestling gold medals to keep their State on top of the medal table. Haryana’s domination was such that they could bear the losses of Ravi to Deepanshu (Services) in the 97kg class Greco-Roman final and still stay on top.
In the 50kg women’s wrestling category, Ankush lost to Shivanee Pawar of Madhya Pradesh.