Services Sports Promotion Board (SSPB) and West Bengal won the men’s and women’s artistic team gold medals on the opening day of the gymnastics competition in the 37th National Games at the Peddem Indoor Sports Complex in Goa on Monday.
The services team, comprising Abhijeet Kumar, Anas Ali Shaikh, Gaurav Kumar, Rakesh Kumar Patra, Saif Sadik Tamboli, and Tapeswaranath Das, scored a total of 249.35 points, over seven points better than second-placed Uttar Pradesh (242.10). Haryana settled for the bronze with a combined score of 240.35.
The West Bengal team proved it is the leader in artistic gymnastics in the women’s category, scoring a total of 175.90 points to clinch the state’s first gold medal. Maharashtra took the silver with a total of 166.95, while Uttar Pradesh stood third with 142.30 points, having a point deducted from the overall score.
With the official inauguration of the Games still a few days away, four gold medals have been decided so far with Karnataka (men’s team badminton) and Assam (women’s team badminton) sharing the other two.
Five more gold medals are on offer on Tuesday in the individual badminton events.
Former men’s singles champion Sourabh Varma of Madhya Pradesh will look to add another gold to his tally after getting the better of Maharashtra’s Harsheel Dani 19-21, 21-14, 21-17 in the semifinal on Monday.
The 30-year-old will now face Telangana’s M. Tharun, who got the better of second seed M Mithun 12-21, 21-14, 22-20 in an hour and seven minutes.
In women’s singles semifinals, Uttarakhand’s Aditi Bhatt saved two match points in the second game to beat M Meghana Reddy of Telangana 7-21, 24-22, 21-16. She will now face national champion Anupama Upadhayaya of Haryana, who packed off top seed Aakarshi Kashyap of Chattisgarh 21-13, 21-17.
In the basketball competition that kicked off in Navelim, Punjab men rode on a strong performance from Kanwar Gurbaz Sandhu (22 points) and Prince Pal Singh (19 points) to beat Telangana 87-57 in its opening Pool A clash. Nathan Abraham Billa top scored for Telangana with 21 points.
In the other Pool A game, Delhi defeated host Goa 81-61. In the women’s section, Kerala thumped West Bengal 113-24 while Uttar Pradesh hammered Goa 60-34 in Pool A.
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