8th gold walks home Borrowed boy brings glory with endurance

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By ARUN KUMAR THAKUR
  • Published 18.02.11
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Ranchi, Feb. 17: The home team’s golden streak continued for the fifth consecutive day in Hotwar, with borrowed athlete Gurmeet Singh clocking an early win in the 20km walk.

His medal takes the state’s gold score to eight and medal tally to 31, though it continues to rank nine. Maharashtra is heading the table with 20 gold, courtesy its domination in gymnastics today, while Manipur stands second with 19 in kitty.

Gurmeet, the railway athlete who trains at Sports Authority of India’s centre for excellence in Bangalore, began his endurance walk at 6.30am and completed the course in good time to set a new meet record. He clocked 01:13:26, which surpassed Gurdev Singh’s meet record of 01:29:39, but finished behind the national record of 01:23:06 scripted by Babu Bhai.

Gurmeet’s dream walk doesn’t end here though. “My aim is an Olympic medal,” the athlete said after his win.

In the 110-metre hurdles for men, Jharkhand’s Santosh Kumar, however, failed to do a Gurmeet. His name appeared on the starting list, but he did not compete the event.

Gymnastics remained a cakewalk for Maharashtra. The team won all the six gold at Ganpat Rai Indoor Stadium. In individual gymnastics, Akshata Shate won gold with 74.383 points, leaving behind state mate Kshipra Joshi by two points. The bronze went to Jammu & Kashmir’s Mitali, who notched 68.017 points.

In the 3-metre springboard (women) at Veer Budhu Bhagat Aquatic Stadium, Maharashtra’s Hrutika Shriram collected 205.35 points to win the gold, followed by state mate Swati Vidap. Karnataka’s Karishma M. Mohite won bronze.

The splash, however, belonged to Delhi mermaid Richa Mishra. The ace swimmer took her individual gold tally to nine, winning the 1500m freestyle for women. She had won eight gold medals in the 33rd National Games at Guwahati in 2007. With four more events to go, Richa may taste the double digit delight.

At the Tikait Umrao Shooting Range, Services dominated the day, with Subedar Major Vikay Kumar winning gold in 25m standard pistol (men, individual), leaving Jaspal Rana of Delhi, who is aiming for an Olympic appearance, in the second position. Haryana’s Vivek Singh won bronze while Jharkhand’s Pradeep Kumar cut a sorry figure. In the 10m air rifle (men), all three medals were won by the Services — Sanjeev Rajput (gold), Satyendra Singh (silver) and Hasan Imran Khan (bronze).

In volleyball (women), Kerala bagged gold defeating Bengal 3-0, and Andhra Pradesh won the bronze defeating Karnataka 3-0 in the play off for third and fourth positions.

In Jamshedpur, Orissa soccer girls devastated Jharkhand, pulling off an 8-0 win. After two consecutive defeats, conceding 50 goals, Tripura team gave walkover to Assam.

In equestrian show jumping being held in Jamshedpur, Madhya Pradesh won the gold, Services the silver and Delhi the bronze.

In Dhanbad, Tamil Nadu entered the final in both men and women squash events.