Karnataka asserts supremacy

Karnataka reigned supreme as the overall champion in the 22nd senior National Taekwondo championship held at Bangalore.

KHALYAN N ASHOK

Karnataka reigned supreme as the overall champion in the 22nd senior National Taekwondo championship held at Bangalore on November 25 and 26. The host won the men's team championship title with 62 points and bagged the women's team title with 54 points for an overall tally of 116 points, leaving second placed Haryana way behind at 59 points.

Mohammed Imran of Karnataka (left) and Sandeep Kumar of Punjab fighting it out in the featherweight final. Imran won the title. — Pic. K. BHAGYA PRAKASH-

There are couple of factors, which are responsible for the domination of Karnataka in taekwondo. Firstly, the State has a dynamic administrative set up headed by Maradi S. Chandrashekar, who leaves no stone unturned to make Karnataka as No.1 contender in the sport and Chandrashekar, who is also the Secretary General of Taekwondo Federation of India, ensures that there are adequate National camps in Bangalore, which go a long way in helping the local talent.There is good support from the State Sports Department and taekwondo is being looked as one discipline, which is capable of fetching clutch of medals for the State in events like National Games.

Karnataka began its quest on a bright note on the opening day, grabbing three golds out of eight that were at stake. In the men's section, J. Shyam of Karnataka avenged his State meet defeat at the hands of Ibrahim Khan (SSCB) scoring a six point to four final verdict. In a keen contest, Shyam, with a good combination of counter roundhose and back kicks, kept his rival on the defensive and claimed the gold.

In a close contest, M. Prakash won the second gold for Karnataka in the middleweight section, beating Nirmal Singh of SSCB 6-5. In the women's section, three Karnataka girls figured in the finals. But only K. Prakurthi took the gold. Prakurthi, a local engineering student, stunned the fancied Krupali Borse of Maharashtra, an Asian bronze medallist by a narrow 2-1 verdict. Another impressive winner on the first day was Priyanka of Haryana who won the bantam weight gold. Priyanka was laid low with an injury for the entire last year and she returned to the centre stage in style to outwit Jadhe Vrushali Kisan of Maharashtra at 9-6.

On the second and final day, Karnataka squad claimed two more golds, two silvers and three bronzes. Karnataka's big hope in the women's section, Hari Pyari Devi won a close verdict (7-5) against Megha Bhist of Delhi in the welterweight category and Mohammad Imran brought down the curtain on the championship on a winning note for Karnataka, beating Sandeep Kumar of Punjab 5-3 in the featherweight final.

The Karnataka team, which won the overall title in the National championship at Bangalore. — Pic. K. BHAGYA PRAKASH-

While the host hogged the limelight, there were couple of good performances like Surendra Bhandari of Uttranchal and K. Srilaxmi of Andhra Pradesh in the men's and women's sections respectively. Bhandari came up with a clinical display to outclass Shivkumar of Punjab 6-0. Bhandari, who represented the country in the last Asiad at Busan, was superb with his timing and speed and unleashed some powerful roundhouse and back kicks to smother his rival in the flyweight final bout.

Similalry, Srilaxmi, another international proved too good for her CRPF rival Somorani (6-2). in the women's heavyweight final. Seema Deswal of Haryana used her good height to a telling effect, delivering some hard hit face kicks to beat her rival Sarika in the women's flyweight final. In the featherweight section, Manipur's Y. Shanthibala Devi defeated Karnataka's Aditi Bajaj 7-3. Gaurav Singh of Uttar Pradesh and K. S. Gurjar of the Services picked up the golds in the men's bantamweightweight and welterweight classes respectively.

The Karnataka Taekwondo Association conducted the championship in an exemplary manner despite squeezing the schedule in a two-day format, owing to financial constraints. For the first time, KTA also used an electronic scoreboard for the championship.

The results ( final placings): Men:

Finweight: 1. Premjit Singh (Ker); 2. B. L. N. Murthy (Pnb); 3. Sanjay Bareth (Chgrh).

Bantamweight: 1. Gaurav Singh (UP); 2. S. C. Sharma (SSCB); 3. Pankaj Dhir (Kar) and Kh. Nanao (Mpr).

Lightweight: J. Shyam (Kar); 2. Ibrahim Khan ( SSCB); 3. Saunak Kumar (CRPF) and Sandeep Kundu (Har).

Middleweight: M. Prakash (Kar); 2. Nirmal Singh (SSCB); 3. Singaras Mattoo (Pnb) and Aamit Kumar (Bih).

Fly weight: 1. Surendra Bhandari (Utchl); 2. Shiv Kumar (Pnb); 3. N.Manju Naik (Kar) and Khemraj Pant (UP).

Bantamweight: 1. Gaurav Singh (UP); 2. S. C. Sharma (Services); 3. Kh. Nanao (Mpr) and Pankaj Dhir (Kar).

Featherweight: Mohammad Imran (Kar); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Pnb); 3. M. J. Chaudhry (Mah) and Sandeep Kumar Ahlawat (Har).

Welterweight: 1. K. S. Gurjar (Services); 2. Ram Niwas (Har); 3.B. P. Kiran (Kar) and C. Y. Jawale (Mah).

Women:

Fin weight: 1. K. Prakurthi (Kar); 2. Borse Krupali Madhukar (Mah); 3. Kiran Bala Devi (Mpr).

Bantamweight: 1. Priyanka (Har); 2. Jadhe Vrushali Kisan (Mah); 3. H. Lalpramawi (Mzo) and B. G. Sharmila (Kar).

Lightweight: 1. H. Thoibano Chanu ( CRPF);2. M. C. Sowmya (Kar ); 3. Savitha Rawat (Utchl) and Karuna Bhatia (Del).

Middleweight: 1.Th. Debjan Devi (CRPF); 2. C. Manjula (Kar); 3. Nutan (Pnb) and Anuradha Devi (Mpr).

Flyweight: 1. Seema Deswal (Har); 2. Sarika (Del); 3. Lalhmingsangi (Mizo) and Bharti Kumari (Bih).

Featherweight: 1. Shanthibala Devi (Mpr); 2. Aditi Bajaj (Kar); 3. Manisha (Har) and P. Rekha Bhgwan (Mah).

Welterweight: 1. A. Hari Pyari Devi (Kar); 2. Megha Bhist (Del); 3. R. K. DaIna Devi (Mpr) and Rashmi Chouhan (MP).

Heavyweight: 1. K. Srilaxmi (AP); 2. M. Somorani Devi ( CRPF) ; 3. Sharmisha Singh (WB) and G. Malini (Kar).

Team placings:

Men: 1. Karnataka 62 pts.; 2. Services 41; 3.Punjab 39.

Women: 1. Karnataka 54; 2. CRPF 38; 3. Haryna 35 .

Overall champion: Karnataka 116 . Runner-up: Haryana 59.