Olympian Srihari Nataraj ended his campaign in the National Games swimming competition with his sixth gold medal in the men’s 100m freestyle at the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex in Rajkot on Saturday. Nataraj won in 50.41 seconds, a new record at the National Games. During the week, the swimmer from Karnataka watched his senior Sajan Prakash (Kerala) claim five gold, two silver and a bronze medal. On Saturday, Nataraj stormed to a victory in the 100m freestyle and Sajan finished seventh. He accomplished his mission to claim the two freestyle sprint gold medals to add to the two backstroke titles in addition to anchoring the Karnataka relay teams for two gold medals.
SP Likhit made a clean sweep of the three men’s breaststroke events by winning the 100m event, allowing Services to increase their haul of gold to 44 to date and maintain a lead over second-placed Haryana, who has 30 gold.
Maharashtra continued their effort to challenge Haryana, with just two fewer gold medals.
Karnataka has moved up to fourth spot with 23 gold medals, including 19 from the Aquatics competitions.
Tamil Nadu, whose 4x100m medley relay team beat Karnataka in the final of the Aquatics competition for the team’s only gold from pool, is fifth on the medal table.
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A 2-0 victory for Gujarat men in the Soft Tennis final against Madhya Pradesh saw the host nation finish the day with an unprecedented 11 gold medals to date.
Mohit Sherawat takes judo gold of 81 kg despite dislocated shoulder
In Gandhinagar, Delhi Judoka Mohit Sherawat went broke despite battling a dislocated right shoulder in his semifinal and final bouts to win the 81 kg class gold.
The national champion had dislocated his shoulder halfway through the quarterfinals against Sarabjit Singh from Punjab.
In the road cycling race, Karnataka ace Naveen John successfully defended the men’s individual time trial while Manipur’s Tongbram Monorama Devi overcame fever and headache to sprint ahead of Chayanika Gogoi (Assam) and Pooja Baban Danole (Maharashtra) to finish the Women 85km Road race to win.
In the water polo competition, Services and Maharashtra met to win the men’s and women’s gold medals.
Services recovered to beat Kerala 10-8 with two last minute goals in a blood-curdling men’s final, while Maharashtra women defeated Kerala 5-3 in the final round robin match to win the title.
Vaishnavi of Tamil Nadu claimed the Women’s Artistic Yogasana gold with 134.22 points, flanked on the podium by Maharashtra duo Chhakuli Bansilal Selokar (127.68) and Purva Shriram Kinare (126.68), who were the final qualifier to win the finals entered.
In men’s hockey, Karnataka defeated hosts Gujarat 11-2 to earn a semi-final with Haryana showing Tamil Nadu the exit with a 3-0 win.
Uttar Pradesh knocked out West Bengal via the penalty shootout after the thriller finished 1-1 in regular play. Uttar Pradesh meets Maharashtra who defeated Jharkhand in the last quarter final.
In boxing, four home boxers – Asifali Asgharli Syed (57 kg), Minaxi Bhanushali (57 kg), Paramjit Kaur (66 kg) and Ruchita Rajput (75 kg) – have made it to the quarterfinals.
Former national champion Krishna Thapa, who was roped in to oversee the state team a few months before the Games, is confident the sporting extravaganza will revitalize boxing in Gujarat.
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