Deepika Kumari leads Jharkhand to recurve gold

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist Deepika Kumari steered Jhakhand to two team gold medals in the recurve archery events but stunningly missed out on an individual podium finish even as the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) continued to stay on course for a hat-trick of overall titles on the eighth day of competitions in the 35th National Games here on Monday.
SSCB were perched firmly at the top in overall medal standings with a total of 78 — 48 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze. Maharashtra remained second on account of lesser gold medals with a total tally of 91 (27 gold, 37 silver and 27 bronze), followed by Haryana (27 gold, 18 silver and 7 bronze).
At the archery arena in Kochi, the action concluded with the recurve events in which Jharkhand swept the women’s competition, winning three gold medals (women’s team, mixed team and individual).
Jharkhand, spearheaded by Deepika, beat Manipur, which featured veteran Bombayla Devi among others, in both the women’s team and mixed team finals to emerge on top.
The individual gold was brought in by Laxmi Rani Majhi, who sailed past Satbir Kaur Saini of Assam 7-3 in the summit clash.
Deepika, a former world number one, finished fourth in the individual event after losing the bronze medal playoff 2-6 to Uttar Pradesh archer Seema Verma.
The mixed team and the women’s team bronze went to Bengal, featuring the likes of seasoned Dola Banerjee. The eastern state got the better of Assam in both the playoffs.
The men’s team gold was grabbed by Uttar Pradesh, ahead of Assam and SSCB respectively.
In athletics, which began on Monday, favourites and hosts Kerala suffered a setback on the very first day when star long jumper Ranjith Maheshwary failed to make the finals after being disqualified for false starts in the qualifying round on Monday morning.
Elsewhere, SSCB were the dominant force in men’s triathlon, walking away with both the individual as well as the team gold medals. Minachandra won the individual gold before teaming up with Dilip and Gurudatt to finish on top in the team competition.
The individual silver and bronze went to Dilip and Manipur’s Mahesh respectively, while Goa (Mani Singh, Bishworjit Singh and Dhiraj) and Manipur (Mahesh, Sushil Singh and Dewanjit Singh) took the second and third spot in the team final.
The women’s triathlon was expectedly swept by Gujarat’s Pooja Chaurushi, the first Indian to win an international triathlon championship — the South Asian Championships in 2014.  She won the individual gold, before combing with Pallavi and Pragnya to nab the team gold as well.
The individual silver and bronze went into Manipur’s kitty through Linthoingambi and Rani Devi respectively. The second and third position in the team event, on the other hand, were claimed by Maharashtra  and Madhya Pradesh.
The individual and team events in triathlon comprise of a 1500m swim, a 40km cycling race and finally a 10km run.
In wushu, SSCB’s Sajan Lama notched up the men’s Taolu (Nanquan) gold with 9.26 points, followed by Manipur’s Punshiba Mayangallambam (9.03 points). Jharkhand’s Deepak Bahadur  finished a distant third.
The women’s gold in this event was jointly presented to Manipur’s L. Sanatombi chanu and Uttar Pradesh’s K Rita Devi, both of whom ended up with 9.56 points. Madhya Pradesh’s Sakshi Vaidya was second with 7.56 points, while Jharkhand got the bronze here too through Minu Munda.
The canoeing and kayaking competitions also kicked off in Alappuzha and SSCB picked up two gold medals (1000m men singles kayak (K1m) and 1000m men singles canoe (C1m) to start with.
The 100m women doubles canoe (C2w) went to Madhya Pradesh, while the top position in women double kayak (K2w) was notched up by Andaman and Nicobar. (PTI)

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