Minoti, Anoop score

Minoti Chetri and Anoop, who were adjudged the best judokas. — Pic. RITU RAJ KONWAR-

ENDOWED with superior physique, technique and power, the judokas from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan picked up the most number of gold medals at the National sub-junior (under-9 to 14) championship in Guwahati. A total of 360 judokas from 23 States participated in the championship held at the Kanaklata Indoor Stadium. Each state was allowed to field 15 participants in 14-weight classes, seven in the boys' and as many in the girls' section.

Uttar Pradesh clinched the team title with three gold medals followed by Delhi with two golds, three silvers and three bronze medals. Haryana was placed third with 2-1-4 and Punjab fourth with 2-1-3.

A jubiliant Uttar Pradesh coach, Lal Kumar, attributed the success to hard work. "The team underwent six hours training everyday. The team could have done much better but for the fact that two players were found to be overweight and two were disqualified on medical grounds. These four are good enough to earn us gold medals," the coach said.

The coveted title of the best judokas of the meet, decided by a panel of 31 referees, went to the winner of the girls' under-23 kg., Minoti Chetri of Assam and the boys' under-30 kg. champion, Anoop of Haryana.

The 10-year-old Minoti Chetri, a student of Class V, had no sporting background to excel in a physical sport such as judo. Her father Maila Chetri is a cook by profession. "I attribute this success to my coach, Mahabir Maheswari. I am training since I was five years old. I was inspired by my brother Nirmal, who represented Assam in the National sub-junior judo competition, she said.

Anoop, whose father is into agriculture, is a Class VI student. Free judo coaching in school enabled him to learn the art of the self-defence. "This motivated me to take to judo. Now I have only one dream, that is to represent India in Olympics," he said.

The North Eastern powerhouse in martial art, Manipur, had to be content with three silvers and two bronze medals. Failure to win a single gold medal was attributed to their judokas' lack of aggression.

"In a three-minute bout one has to attack right from the word go. One cannot wait for things to happen. Our team had to pay heavily for being too defensive," rued the Manipur coach. Among the East and and North Eastern states, Assam and Bengal had one gold and a bronze medal each. Mizoram earned two bronze medals.

Maharashtra `B', comprising the entire state excluding Mumbai, was the best from Western India, bagging one gold, three silvers and five bronze medals. The `A' team had just one silver.

It was a disappointing National for the Southern states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. They just managed to clinch a bronze medal each. Tripura, Meghalaya, Uttaranchal, Orissa, Pondicherry and Chhattisgarh failed to open their account in the meet.

The standings:

Boys: U-25 kg: Gold — Ganesh K. Rajbhar (Ben); Silver — Brahma Dayal (Del); Bronzes — Ravi (Har) & Devendra Dangole (Mah-B). U-30 kg: Gold — Anoop (Har); Silver — Ashish Thakur (Chd); Bronzes — N. Kumara (A.P.) & Harpreet (Pun). U-35 kg: Gold — Ravi Kumar (Pun); Silver — Amit Pawar (Har); Bronzes — Prashant (Ker) & Joraver (Raj). U-40 kg: Gold — Amarjeet (Har); Silver — Manider Singh (Mah. B); Bronzes — Laldin (Miz) & Ramandeep (Pun). U-45 kg: Gold — Lalit Kumar (Pun); Silver — S. Open (Mani); Bronzes — Sudhir Thakar (Mah-B) & Trinad Paul (Ben). U-50 kg: Gold — Ashok Nurvti (Mah-B); Silver — A. K. Goneshor (Mani); Bronzes — Bhupinder Singh (Har) & Surender Singh (Pun); Above-50 kg: Gold — Veer Bahadur (U.P.); Silver — Dhani Ram (Mah-B); Bronzes — Tridip Hazarika (Asm) & Manjeet (Del).

Girls: U-35 kg: Gold — Minoti Chetri (Asm); Silver — Neha Thakur (Del); Bronzes — Aliya Ansari (Mah-B) & Kavita (J&K). U-27 kg: Gold — Alpana Rawat (U.P.); Silver — Kanchan (Mah-A); Bronzes — Proova Mathew (Mah-B) & Reenu (Del) U-32 kg: Gold — Wazia (Del); Silver — Pooja (Pun); Bronzes — Geetanjali R. Patel (M.P.) & Kh. Chaoba (Mani). U-36 kg: Gold — Stephnie Eddy Fernandez (Del); Silver — Kalyani (Mah-B); Bronzes — Lalngaihsaki (Miz) & Jeevitha N. (Kar). U-40 kg: Gold — Minakshi (Raj); silver — Shweta (Del); Bronzes — O. Bidya Laxmi (Mani) & Priyanka (Har). U-44 kg: Gold — Anjali (Raj); Silver — Y. Sangita (Mani); Bronzes — Sarita Punia (Har) & Shally (Del). Above 44 kg. Gold — Garima Chaudhury (U.P.); Silver — Rekha (Raj); Bronzes — Bhagyashree V. Pandey (M.P.) & Surekha Srisath (Mah. B). — Bikash Singh