Tripura’s Priyanka Dasgupta grabbed the spotlight on Day One of the gymnastics competition by clinching the Girls’ U-17 all-around crown in the Khelo India Youth Games here on Friday.
Jatin Kumar Kanojia of Uttar Pradesh, then, claimed the Boys’ U-17 all-around gold with a measure of comfort.
Bronze for Talukdar
Asmi Ankush Badade and Shreya Pravin Bhangale made it a 1-2 for Maharashtra in the Girls’ U-17 rhythmic gymnastics all-around competition but it was the self-taught Upasha Talukdar who captured the hearts of the capacity crowd by winning a bronze, Assam’s first medal in the Games.
Maharashtra’s Maitreyi Amit Selukar and Nishka Chintamani finished higher in the ranking than Talukdar, who learnt her routines by watching videos online. But since the rules allow only two athletes from a State to win medals in a gymnastics event, the Assamese girl was awarded the bronze medal.
A belated present
Gujarat’s Pramilaben Baria gave herself a belated birthday present with a superb set of 36 arrows to top the Girls’ U-21 recurve archery qualifying round with 648 points. Haryana’s Himani Kumari, who lost the bronze medal playoff last year, finished second with 643 points, just ahead of World Cadet champion Komalika Bari (Jharkhand).
The Haryana duo of Sachin Gupta (671) and Sunny Kumar (665) topped the Boys’ U-21 recurve archery qualifying round on a day when Andhra Pradesh’s Kundru Venkat (699) and Rajasthan’s Priya Gurjar (686) earned the right to be ranked first in the U-17 compound boys and girls events respectively.
Coming from Agartala, a city known for its gymnastics tradition dating back several decades, 15-year-old Priyanka nailed the Girls’ Under-17 all-around gold medal with a total of 42.60 points, improving upon the 42.05 that West Bengal’s Protishta Samanta had secured en route to her gold last year.
Daughter of a driver, Priyanka learnt the ropes at the Vivekananda Byamagar in Agartala and, despite holding promise, missed out on a podium finish in Pune by a mere 0.05 points after an unsatisfactory show on the uneven bars. She ensured that there were no slip-ups this time, completing her routines with aplomb.