The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kirtane, Sania triumph

Hyderabad, Dec. 21 (PTI): Nitin Kirtane of Maharashtra and Sania Mirza of Andhra Pradesh carved out contrasting victories to win the menís and womenís tennis singles titles at the 32nd National Games on Saturday.

Kirtane, the top seed, had to battle it out before getting the better of Punna Vishal 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), while Sania coasted to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over statemate Manisha Malhotra. Manisha could barely stand as she was down with high fever, gifting the in-form Sania almost a walkover on the centre court.

Punjabís Manavjit Singh shot an impressive 144 points to create a new Games record in the menís skeet event while Jung of Andhra Pradesh grabbed gold in the menís 50m pistol event.

In the skeet team event, the Chhattisgarh trio of Navin Jindal, Amardeep Singh Rai and Rajpal Singh won gold as the shooting competitions came to an end with Andhra Pradesh collecting seven of the 16 gold medals on offer.

National men champions Haryana clinched the kabaddi gold, overcoming Haryana 29-26. Haryana, boasting of the maximum number of India international stars in their ranks, faced some stiff resistance from Delhi. In the bronze medal matches, Services men whipped Andhra Pradesh 30-16, while the Karnataka women won 39-36 against Haryana.

Punjab thrashed Maharashtra 3-1 to annex the menís hockey title. Kanwaljit Singh, Ajit Pal Singh and Gagan Ajit Singh were the scorers for Punjab while Girish Pimpale scored a consolation goal for Services.

In the womenís section, defending champions Haryana spanked Jharkhand 4-0 to retain the title.

Andhra Pradesh dominated the boxing ring with H. Srinivas (bantam), V. Harikrishnan (light welter) and B. Bhagyarajan (welter) grabbing gold. Manipurís Saronjoy Singh (light fly), Servicesí D. Kannan (fly) and A.L. Lakra (feather) and Keralaís C.A. Kuttappa (light) also secured gold.

Services scooped up three of the five gold medals on offer on Saturday. The two other gold medals went to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In canoeing, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala shared honours with one gold each.

Tamil Nadu put paid to the aspirations of Punjab, defeating the defending champions 101-74 in the menís basketball final to claim the gold. Earlierin the womenís final Chhattisgarh defeated the hosts 80-72 to clinch their maiden gold.

In the play-off matches to decide bronze medal winners, Services defeated Karnataka 71-49 in the menís section, while in the womenís, Madhya Pradesh edged out a fighting Tamil Nadu 53-49.

In wrestling, Andhra men claimed three gold, four silver and one bronze.

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