National games - Services emerge champs; Maharashtra second

Wednesday 19th October 2022 07:09 EDT

Swimmers Sajan Prakash and Hashika Ramachandra were crowned the ‘Best Male and Female Athletes’, respectively, of the 36th National Games Gujarat, which concluded here last week after a glittering closing ceremony attended by Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Table toppers Services completed their campaign at the Games in a blaze of glory, winning five gold medals on offer in the boxing ring in Gandhinagar on the final day of competitions. Services finished with 61 gold, 35 silver and 32 bronze and were awarded the coveted Raja Bhalindra Singh Trophy for being the overall champions for the fourth time in succession.

Maharashtra bagged the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) ‘Best State’ trophy for finishing second in the medals tally with 39 g old, 38 silver and 63 bronze. Haryana (38 gold, 38 silver, 39 bronze) had to be satisfied with the third position.
The 29-year-old Sajan won eight medals, with five individual gold, two silver and a bronze, to pip Srihari Nataraj who also claimed eight medals in all, with six gold including two in relays. It’s the second time that India’s most experienced swimmer has bagged the coveted trophy after his success at the 2015 National Games in Kerala.

Hashika, just 14, won six gold in her collection of seven medals on National Games debut. She became the first Karnataka athlete in 23 years to bag this coveted trophy.
Gujarat’s 10-year-old Shauryajit Khaire (Mallakhamb), a reluctant starter after losing his father just a few days back, emerged as the ‘Viral Star’ of the Games, becoming its youngest medal winner.
As many as 38 Games records crumbled in track and field at the IIT Gandhinagar and 36 in aquatics in Rajkot. Tamil Nadu’s Rosy Meena Paulraj (women’s pole vault) and N Ajith (weightlifting men's 73kg clean & jerk), Services’ Siva Subramaniam (men’s pole vault), UP’s Ram Baboo (men’s 35km race walk) and Arunachal Pradesh’s Sambo Lapung (weightlifting men’s 96kg clean & jerk) were among the few to shatter national records too.

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