Hrutika Shriram (Maharashtra) stayed on course to repeat a golden hat-trick in the National Games Diving competition by winning the Women’s 10m Platform event at the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex here on Wednesday.
It is her second gold in three days, and her 10th crown in four editions of the National Games.
The Mumbai-based Railways diver, who hails from Solapur, was not at her best but logged the maximum 179.30 points to clinch the title. Palak Sharma (Madhya Pradesh) took the silver with 175.10 points and Esha Waghmode (Maharashtra) claimed bronze with 172.35 points. The trio had finished in the same order in the 3M Springboard contest 48 hours earlier.
“I was not at my best today and I erred on a couple of dives. There were butterflies in the stomach and I thought that I would have to settle for silver. But I am glad I was able to clinch gold despite that,” she said after emulating Services’ men’s diver Siddharth Pardeshi in winning a second gold here.
Meanwhile, at the Riverfront Sports Development Complex in Ahmedabad, up and coming Gujarat tennis player Zeel Desai stepped up in the absence of experienced Ankita Raina to help the State retain the Women’s Singles gold. The third seeded Zeel was leading Karnataka’s Sharmada Balu 6-2, 3-2 when the latter conceded the match due to an ankle injury.
Zeel dominated proceedings, winning the opening set easily thanks to her quality ground strokes. Sharmada Balu managed to put her under pressure by winning the first two games of the second set but the local girl quickly earned the break back in the third.
Sharmada then twisted her ankle while going for an overhead shot, took a medical timeout and tried to continue thereafter. But with her movements hampered, she conceded the match in the next game.
“I am extremely happy to win the gold today. It was special to play with so much support on the home turf,” Zeel Desai said. “I am used to the heat of Ahmedabad and it helped me while playing against some of them.”
Zeel was also all praise for the organisers who could pull off the National Games in just three months. “I have been to many international tournaments and I can say that the facilities here are equivalent to most. It’s commendable that all these arrangements were made in just three months by the State Government,” she said.
Tamil Nadu’s Manish Sureshkumar also benefitted from the physical discomfort and rib pain Maharashtra’s Arjun Kadhe faced after winning the opening set. He could not maintain the same tempo after taking a medical time-out in the second set and Manish Sureshkumar pounced on the opportunity to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Back in Rajkot, two National Games records were smashed as the biggest names in Indian swimming made waves yet again in the pool. Assam’s Astha Choudhury, who had won the Women’s 100m Butterfly gold on the opening day with a record, lowered Richa Mishra’s mark of 2:21.66 in the heats of the 200m Butterfly with a 2:21.52 winning effort.
Punjab’s Chahat Arora also set a new Games mark in the women’s 50m Breaststroke with a time of 33.17 seconds, eclipsing the old time of 34.43 seconds set by AV Jayaveena (Tamil Nadu). Chahat had won a silver in the 200m Breaststroke on the second day.
The results (finals):
Women’s 10m Platform: 1. Hrutika Shriram (Maharashtra) 179.30 points; 2. Palak Sharma (Madhya Pradesh) 175.10; 3. Esha Waghmode (Maharashtra) 172.35.
Men’s singles: Manish Suresh Kumar (Tamil Nadu) beat Arjun Kadhe (Maharashtra) 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. Bronze medals: SD Prajwal Dev (Karnataka) and G Manish (Karnataka).
Women’s singles: Zeel Desai (Gujarat) beat Sharmada Balu (Karnataka) 6-2, latter retd; Bronze medals: Yubrani Banerjee (West Bengal) and Rutuja Bhosale (Maharashtra).
Individual: Bronze medal play-off: Gurwinder Singh (Punjab) beat Umesh Singh (Uttarakhand) 141-140.
Team: Maharashtra beat Uttarakhand 230-220.
Individual: Sakshi Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) beat Parneet Kaur (Punjab) 143-140.
Team: Bronze medal play-off: Punjab beat Delhi 224-221.
Mixed Team: Bronze medal play-off: Uttar Pradesh beat Andhra Pradesh 152-151.
Men’s Singles (semifinals): B Sai Praneeth (Telangana) beat M Raghu (Karnataka) 21-12, 21-19; M Mithun (Karnataka) beat Aryamann Tandon (Gujarat) 21-9, 11-21.
Women’s Singles (semifinals): Malvika Bansod (Maharashtra) beat Aditi Bhatt (Uttarakhand) 21-10, 19-21, 21-13; Aakarshi Kashyap (Chhattisgarh) beat Tanya Hemanth (Karnataka) 21-9, 21-15.
Women’s Doubles (Semifinals): Sikki Reddy and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (Telangana) bt Kavya Gupta and Khushi Gupta (Delhi) 21-16, 21-17; Shikha Gautam and Ashwini Bhat (Karnataka) beat Mahreen Riza and Arathi Sara Sunil (Kerala) 23-21, 21-11.
Men’s Doubles (Semifinals): PS Ravikrishna and Sankarprasad Udayakumar (Kerala) beat HV Nithin and Vaibhaav (Karnataka) 21-17, 21-14; Hariharan Amsakarunan and Ruban Kumar (Tamil Nadu) beat Shyam Prasad and S Sunjith (Kerala) 21-19, 21-16
Mixed Doubles (Semifinals): Sai Pratheek and Ashwini Ponnappa (Karnataka) beat Hariharan Amsakarunan and VR Nardhana (Tamil Nadu) 23-21, 13-21, 21-19; Rohan Kapoor and Kanika Kanwal (Delhi) beat S Sunjith and TR Gowrikrishna (Kerala) 24-22, 21-18.
Men’s semifinal: Tamil Nadu beat Services 90-47 (Half-time: 46-15).
Women’s semifinal: Tamil Nadu beat Madhya Pradesh 82-30 (42-15).