Services finish in top place - National Games - Saina claims badminton gold

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By The Telegraph Online in Guwahati
  • Published 19.02.07

Guwahati: Services claimed the overall championship while Andhra Pradesh shuttlers won three of the four gold medals on offer on the final day of the 33rd National Games here on Sunday.

The defence team culled two more gold medals to finish with a tally of 59-46-37, leaving behind Manipur (51-32-40) and hosts Assam (38-53-57) who took the second and third place, respectively, on the leaderboard.

Bengal finished at 13th spot with 12 golds, 13 silver and 18 bronze medals.

Tamil Nadu’s Shamini Kumaresan got the women’s singles gold beating Rajasthan’s Vishakha Vijay in five games.

In badminton, Saina Nehwal and P. Kashyap claimed gold in singles events while the duo of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian raced away with the women’s doubles title.

Kerala managed to break the Andhra stranglehold as Thomas Sanave and Rupesh Kumar ensured a top podium finish in men’s doubles.

Services won the men’s basketball competition, beating Uttaranchal 91-68 in the title round. Tamil Nadu became women’s champions, getting the better of Chhattisgarh 96-70 in the gold medal match.

The other gold to the table toppers’ kitty came in men’s hockey where Services came from behind to edge out Punjab 2-1.

The final was, however, marred with protests and a walkout from Punjab players after the umpire allowed the Services equaliser to stand.

Manipur, who held the overall lead for most of the 10-day mega event before surrendering the numero uno status to Services, took both the gold medals at stake in sepak takraw.

In handball, Punjab claimed the men’s title, defeating Services 30-29 in a pulsating final, which went right down to the wire. Chhattisgarh became women’s champions, beating Kerala 25-19.

Services received the Raja Balendra Singh Trophy for the top contingent in medal tally while second-placed Manipur also got a special trophy.