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Khelo India Youth Games: Hosts Madhya Pradesh sweep medals in kayaking and canoeing

Bhopal, Feb 1 (IANS) Hosts Madhya Pradesh made a big splash at the beautiful Upper Lake area of its capital city by garnering all four gold medals on offer in Kayaking and Canoeing on day three of the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 here.

The K-2 1000m Boys’ sprint pairing of Nitin Verma and Rimson Mairembam crossed the line first by a distance, to become the first gold medallists of the fourth edition of the KIYG. Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh also opened their gold medal accounts, winning one each in table tennis (TT), as a total of seven states claimed medals on the day.

The day however belonged to the hosts as they showed off their wonderful water sports infrastructure and natural prowess in the disciplines, sweeping all four gold medals on offer.

After Nitin, who along with Niraj Verma won double golds on the day, and Rimson sealed the Kayaking pairs sprint, it was the turn of the second Verma, no relation to each other, to partner Devendra Sen to victory in the C-2 Canoe sprint. Nitin and Niraj then also won the K-1 and C-1 singles races to ensure the total dominance of the hosts on the Upper lake.

Odisha and Telangana were the other top performers in the water, winning a total of six silver and bronze medals among them.

Maharashtra strongest in TT

At Indore’s Abhay Prashal, where the TT competition is being held, there were two gold medals on offer in the Boys’ and Girls’ doubles fixtures respectively. Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh split it amongst themselves, with the former winning the Girls doubles and the latter taking the Boys’ doubles title.

The Girls’ doubles final was an all-Maharashtra affair with Pritha Vartikar and Jennifer Varghese getting the better of Risha Mirchandani and Taneesh Kotecha 3-0 (13-11, 11-9, 11-7) in a match that was closer than the scoreline suggests.

The Boys’ doubles final went to four games but Divyansh Srivastava and Sarth Mishra eventually sealed the deal for Uttar Pradesh defeating West Bengal’s Sujal Banik and Bodhisatwa Chaudhary 3-1 (8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8). The bronze went to Karnataka and Maharashtra in the Girls’ and Boys’ categories respectively.

There were a dozen sports played across five cities and 11 venues of the host state and many of them reached their business ends at the end of day three, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) informed in a release on Wednesday.

In Bhopal’s SAI Indoor Hall, the Volleyball semi-final lineups were firmed up. Haryana joined Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal in the Girls’ semis scheduled for Thursday day four. Haryana also made the Boys’ semis where they will play powerhouses Tamil Nadu while Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh clash in the second Boys’ semis. Kerala’s win against Uttar Pradesh (UP) enabled the Haryana girls to go through when they blanked Gujarat 3-0 in the final group game. Likewise in the Boys’ section, Haryana’s win against Rajasthan knocked the latter off the semis.

Also, at the M.P. Badminton Academy in Gwalior, semi-final lineups for the Girls’ and Boys’ singles were drawn up. Among the day’s highlights was 14-year-old Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye’s sensational come-from-behind 17-21, 21-19, 21-13 win against second seed Neysa Cariappa of Karnataka. The youngest Badminton player in the Games thus went through to her first Khelo India semifinals.

A few other sports also saw their first competitive day of action besides water sports. Archery qualifications began in Jabalpur, whereas Ujjain saw mesmerising Yogasana performances with Gymnastics proceedings also starting at the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE). The ever-popular Football kicked off as well, with the Boys playing in Indore and the Girls in Balaghat. The shooting also got off the blocks at the impressive M.P Academy Shooting range on the outskirts of Bhopal. Besides, group league Kho Kho action also continued at Jabalpur’s Ranital Sports complex.