National Games: MP’s Advait, Kerala’s Sajan scoop third gold even as Maana picks up her second (round-up)

Madhya Pradesh’s Advait Page and Kerala’s Sajan Prakash came up with an awe-inspiring performance to win their third gold medal each even as Gujarat’s Maana Patel bagged her second gold for Gujarat in the 36th National Games at the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex here on Friday.

While they are engaged in a keen gold medal hunt, West Bengal recurve archer Atanu Das also captured attention when he won the Men’s Individual gold, beating Gurcharan Besra (Services) 6-4 at the Sanskardam Sports Complex near Ahmedabad.

Despite winning only one gold till the time of writing on Thursday, Services remained on top of the table with 41 gold, 28 silver and 26 bronze for a total of 95 medals. Haryana won four of the five gold medals in Archery to consolidate their second place with 29 gold. Maharashtra (24) closed in on Services as far as total medals are concerned with 93 so far.

Advait Page’s superior endurance and finishing speed earned him the 800m Freestyle gold in a stunning manner in one of the closest races in the event in India. Trailing Aryan Nehra (Gujarat) and Sajan Prakash for all but the final few meters, he shot past them to be the first to the wall.

Later, Sajan Prakash bossed the 50m Butterfly to complete a sweep of the three events in the stroke. If he was feeling tired after being pushed hard in the 16-lap event by Advait Page and Aryan Nehra, he did not show it as he coasted to victory, making it clear that he brooks no challenge in Butterfly events.

With victories in the 100m Backstroke finals, Olympians Maana Patel and Srihari Nataraj picked up their second individual gold medals each. A start to finish effort by Bhavya Sachdeva (Delhi) handed Karnataka teenager Hashika Ramachandra her first defeat in five events here.

Second-seeded Aakarshi Kashyap (Chhattisgarh) dominated top-seeded Malvika Bansod (Maharashtra) to win the Badminton Women’s Singles gold at the PDDU Indoor Stadium in Surat.

B Sai Praneeth (Telangana) justified his top billing by taking the Men’s Singles gold after an hour-long battle with Mithun Manjunath (Karnataka). He won 21-11, 12-21, 21-16.

Ashwini Ponnappa and K. Sai Prateek made a perfect start to their journey as a mixed doubles pair, eking out a 21-16, 21-13 victory over Rohan Kapoor and Kanika Kanwal (Delhi). Ashwini Ponnappa was all praise for her 22-year-old partner. “He played a strong game. He hit hard and covered the court well. I’m very happy to win my first ever National Games gold,” she said.

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