TODAY -

Deepika, Sarita upset; Services lead tally
Source: The Sangai Express / Press Trust of India

Ranchi, February 24 2011: Commonwealth Games gold medallist archer Deepika Kumari and former world boxing champion Laishram Sarita Devi bite the dust on a day of big upsets while Services improved on their last edition's medal count to reign supreme in the 34th National Games on Thursday.

Jharkhand's star archer Deepika Kumari lost in the final to Assam's Prativa Boro to provide the biggest jolt for the hosts, while the boxing ring provided another stunner when 21-year-old Pinky Jangra knocked out reigning Asian champion Sarita Devi in 51kg. Inspired by Pinky's performance, Haryana grabbed seven gold medals in boxing to shoot themselves to number five spot ahead of Kerala on the 12th day of competitions in the multi-sporting event.

Putting their big disappointment in archery behind, hosts Jharkhand, however, did well in boxing, claiming seven gold while pocketing three yellow metals in weightlifting.

In men's hockey, Jharkhand stormed into the final after beating Maharashtra 2-1 in a semifinal that had to be resumed this morning from the 55th minute after it was stopped on Wednesday because of crowd trouble.

Having made it to the finals in both men's and women's sections, Jharkhand are aiming for a double in hockey.

The men's team will take on Punjab, while they face Haryana in the women's section on Friday.

17-year-old Indian archery sensation, Deepika Kumari faltered in the women's recurve final to settle for a silver medal.

Deepika, who was given the honour by the hosts state to light the Games' flame, fell to intense pressure as the Indian Olympic hope lost out 4-6 to a cool and composed Assam girl Prativa in a nerve-wracking final in Jamshedpur.

Meanwhile, Services surpassed their medal haul of previous edition of the Games in Guwahati four years ago, after taking their tally of 62 gold, 43 silver and 35 bronze medals to take a race way ahead of their rivals for the top spot.

Manipur too continued their march on the second spot with 44-31-29 while Maharashtra remained on third spot with 38-41-43 .

Delhi occupy the fourth pla-ce with 30-22-31 .

Riding on the performa-nce of boxers, Haryana dis-placed Kerala (27-24-26) from the fifth position with a tally of 28-27-36 .

Jharkhand were on seventh with 25-19-34 .

Completely dominating the bout, Pinky did not give Sarita Devi any chance in fly weight category (51kg) to win the gold medal bout 5-0 .

Andhra Pradesh's A Punyavathi and Uttarakhand's Vinita Mahar won a bronze each.

It was indeed a memorable achievement for Pinky who had stunned five time world champion MC Mary-kom in 2009 National Championship quarterfinals in Jamshedpur.

N Swapna Priya of Jharkhand provided another upset in the ring when she stunned former world champion KC Lekha for the super heavy weight (+81kg) title to lead gold rush for hosts state.

In men's flyweight (52 kg), Sunil Kumar of Haryana added another gold by knocking down Santosh Harijan of Goa 4-2, while Gaurav Bidhuri (Delh) and Prakash Darjee (Arunachal Pradesh) bagged a bronze each.

Sandeep of Haryana defeated Neeraj Goyat of Tripura 5-0 for the light weight (60kg) title where Kulvinder (Kerala) and VD Rao (Karnataka) settled for the bronze medals.

International rider Rameshori Devi won her fifth gold medal in cycling when she, along with Sunita Devi Yanglem, Suchitra Devi Konsam and Helen Devi Thokchom won the elite women's 42km road time trial.

In the women's final the Manipur quartet clocked 1::05:17.88 seconds for the title while Kerala's Deepa Chandran, Mahitha Mohan, Rajani Remanan and Kezia Verghese clocked 1::07:59.02 for the silver medal.

Services clinched the elite men's 70km road TT gold with Satbir Singh, Sombir Mahala, Vinod Malik and Atul Singh clocking 1::31:19.88.Punjab's Hitraj Singh, Sarpreet Singh, Amandeep Singh and Harpreet Singh (1::33:20.40) settled for the silver.


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