National Games: Elavenil, Bhavani clinch gold medals

Swapna Barman, competing in Madhya Pradesh colours, clinched the women’s high jump record with a clearance of 1.83m while Praveen Chithravel of Tamil Nadu made light of a depleted triple jump field to win the yellow metal with a Games record effort of 16.68m.
Gujarat’s Elavenil Valarivan on the podium with her yellow metal
Gujarat’s Elavenil Valarivan on the podium with her yellow metal

GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat’s ace shooter Elavenil Valarivan handed the host its fourth gold medal with a 16-10 win in the final while weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, fencer Bhavani Devi and wrestler Divya Kakran lived up to their top billing with yellow metals in their respective events at the 36th National Games here on Friday.

The track and field athletes were on fire, with as many as nine Games records being created during the course of the action-packed day at IIT, Gandhinagar. Munita Prajapati (Uttar Pradesh), daughter of a construction labourer, and 17-year-old Parvej Khan (Services) were the stars of the day, with the former setting the first record of this edition in the women’s 20km walk. She clocked a commendable 1 hour, 38 minutes 20 seconds.

Parvej then broke Bahadur Prasad’s 28-year-old Games record in the men’s 1500m, much to the delight of the fans. He slashed nearly two seconds off his personal best time to win the metric mile gold in 3:40.89.

Swapna Barman, competing in Madhya Pradesh colours, clinched the women’s high jump record with a clearance of 1.83m while Praveen Chithravel of Tamil Nadu made light of a depleted triple jump field to win the yellow metal with a Games record effort of 16.68m.

Damneet Singh (Punjab) in men’s hammer throw – 67.62m – and Kiran Baliyan (Uttar Pradesh) in women’s shot put – 17.14m – also entered the record books. In men’s 100m semi-finals, Amlan Borgohain (Assam) broke the National Games record, set at 10.45 seconds by Haryana’s Dharambir Singh in Thiruvananthapuram in 2015.

Amlan, who has been in good form this season, stopped the clock at 10.28 seconds, two-hundredths of a second outside the national record held by Amiya Kumar Mallick since 2016. Gujarat had plenty to cheer on Friday with the netball men’s team bagging its fifth medal after the technical committee awarded bronze to it as well as its opponent, Delhi, following a tie in the bronze medal play-off.

Powered by Ankita Raina, the Gujarat women’s team marched into the tennis final with an easy 2-0 win over Karnataka. It will start as favourite in the gold-medal match against Maharashtra at the Riverside Sports Complex on Saturday.

Among the favourites, Bhavani from Tamil Nadu completed a hat-trick of women’s sabre individual gold medals. Having barely slept after flying in from her training base in France and having carried the Tamil Nadu flag in the athletes’ parade on Thursday, she spent a productive day at the Mahatma Mandir, asserting her primacy.

Divya (Uttar Pradesh) stopped a Haryana sweep of all six gold medals on the opening of the wrestling competition. She won the women’s 76kg class title, beating Haryana’s Reetika, Rohini Satya Shivani (Telangana) and Rani (Himachal Pradesh) – in that order – in her last three contests. Mirabai bagged the weightlifting women’s 49kg yellow metal with a total lift of 191 kg (84kg in snatch and 107kg in clean & jerk).

Haryana men and Odisha women won the Rugby 7s gold medals with victories over Maharashtra teams. Haryana scored a golden double in netball, with its men’s team defeating Telangana 75-73 in a thriller and its women quelling Punjab’s challenge 53-49.

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