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Punjab judokas in gold rush

Visakhapatnam: Punjab judokas swept all the five gold medals on offer on the opening day of the judo competition in the 32nd National Games here on Friday.

In the womenís section, Parvendra Kaur (63 kg), Pravandeep Kaur (70 kg) bagged the gold, while Y. Solanki (81 kg), Jaipal (below 90 kg) and Pavan Kaur (below 100 kg) claimed the honours in the menís section.

In Hyderabad, hosts Andhra Pradesh started their gold hunt in style, winning both the men and women badminton team championships at the GMC Balayogi indoor stadium here on Friday.

While the Andhra women beat a spirited Maharashtra 2-1, the menís team made light of the absence of star shuttler Pullela Gopichand scoring a 3-1 win over Kerala in the finals.

In the womenís final, after losing the first match, Andhra bounced back winning the doubles match to tie the score 1-1 before Deepti upset Manjusha Kanwar 11-4, 5-11, 11-9.

In the menís section Andhraís Sasibhusan beat Keralaís Rupesh Kumar 15-7, 6-15, 15-3. J.B.S. Vidyadhar brushed aside Joy T.Anthony 15-3, 15-1 before the visitors fought back in the doubles with V. Diju and Sonave Thomas beating Sunil and Prithvi 15-10, 15-1.

Earlier, the 32nd National Games was declared open by President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam amid a breathtaking hi-tech show encapsulating Indiaís spirit of unity at the G. M. C. Balayogi main athletics stadium, Gachibowli, in Hyderabad. Filmstar Amitabh Bachchan was also present at the function.

In womenís hockey, Prakash Chaudhary scored a brilliant hattrick to help defending champions Haryana edge out Orissa 3-2, while former champions Maharashtra began with an emphatic 5-1 win over Delhi.

Chaudhary scored all the three goals in the first half within eight minutes before Orissaís Pratima Tirkey struck a brace in the second.

In the Maharshtra-Delhi game, Pakpi Devi scored a brace for the winners and Paulina Surin, Nishi Chauhan and Suraj Lata completed the rout. Sushila managed a consolation goal in the 59th minute.

In volleyball, Tamil Nadu men crushed Uttar Pradesh 25-12, 25-20, 25-15 in group A. Andhra Pradesh overcame Maharashtra 25-21, 25-19, 25-19.

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