Khelo India Youth Games: Jisha, Anna lead Kerala U-21 girls to volleyball gold

Kerala rode on captain Jisha K.S. and Anna Mathew’s fine showing to ward off a strong challenge from West Bengal to take the under-21 volleyball gold medal.

Kerala U-21 girls beat West Bengal in the final and take the volleyball gold medal in the Khelo India Youth Games on Wednesday.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

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.

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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.

SHOOTING:

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.

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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.

CYCLING:

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.

LAWN BOWLS:

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.