Kerala rode on captain Jisha K.S. and Anna Mathew’s fine showing to ward off a strong challenge from West Bengal in the final and take the girls’ under-21 volleyball gold medal in the Khelo India Youth Games here on Wednesday.
Kerala recorded a 26-24, 25-16, 25-21 win in a duel lasting more than an hour.
The well-built Kerala girls took an early lead before witnessing Bengal catching up at 9-9 and going past it.
Kerala banked on Bengal’s unforced errors in crucial moments to equalise at 23-23 and claim the first set.
Jisha was spot on with her shots on left as she guided Kerala to claim the second set comfortably.
Bengal gave Kerala a close chase in the third but Anna excelled with her fine drop shots and beautiful smashes to enable her side win the title.
Haryana beat Tamil Nadu 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 to win bronze medal.
West Bengal edged out Rajasthan 25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23 for the girls’ under-17 title. Karnataka went past Kerala 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 to claim the bronze.
Gujarat beat Haryana 25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 25-16 for the boys’ under-21 yellow metal. Tamil Nadu finished third after beating Uttar Pradesh 25-19, 25-20, 25-17.
Uttar Pradesh pipped Uttarakhand 22-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-16 in boys’ under-17 final. Gujarat beat Haryana 32-30, 23-25, 25-20, 17-25, 15-10 for the third spot.
Anjali Chaudhary (22) of Haryana secured the girls' under-21 25m pistol yellow metal beating Ishika Singh (20) of Delhi. Ishika – who led 20-19 going into the last round in the finals – could not score, while Anjali gathered three in the fight for the gold. Devanshi Dhama (18) of Uttar Pradesh was third.
West Bengal, comprising Ayushi Podder and Amartya Mukherjee, defeated Tamil Nadu, consisting of Ravi C. Rakshna and Rithik Ramesh, 17-13 to win the gold medal in under-21 air rifle mixed team event. Punjab took the bronze.
The Madhya Pradesh duo of Akash Kushwaha and Neeru (46) picked up the trap mixed team gold.
Mayur Pawar (11.306 seconds) and Pooja Danole (2:47.415) gave Maharashtra gold medals in boys’ under-21 200m sprint and girls' under-17 individual pursuit (2000m) respectively.
Assam had an extremely successful day on Bihu as it reaped three gold medals in boys' under-21 singles, boys' fours and girls' under-21 triple events. Surajit Burhagohain beat Abhishek Lakra of Jharkhand 21-10 for the singles title. Assam outplayed West Bengal 23-10 in boys' fours, while the host trounced Delhi 23-7 in girls' triple.
Maharashtra continued to dominate the medals tally with an aggregate of 110, including 28 gold. Haryana was second with 73, including 23 gold medals.