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Gymnast Karmakar steals top honours with five-gold haul

Gymnast Karmakar steals top honours with five-gold haul
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist gymnast Dipa Karmakar excelled with a haul of five gold medals for Tripura while swimmers like Kerala golden boy Sajan Prakash continued to be on a record-shattering spree on day six of competitions in the 35th National Games on Friday.

In the overall standings, it was the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) that dominated by breaking away from the neck-and-neck competition being offered by Haryana to top the medals tally with 38 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze for a total of 61. SSCB are eyeing a third consecutive overall title. Maharashtra rose up the ranks to second on the medals table, riding on a strong performance in the swimming pool to total 25 gold, 29 silver and 20 bronze (74). Haryana were pushed to third position with 25 gold, 13 silver and six bronze (44) medals.

Karmakar, the first Indian woman gymnast to fetch a Commonwealth Games gold, was way ahead of competition as she repeated her 2011 edition’s show to be the top performer yet again, clinching the yellow metal in individual all-round, table vault, balancing beam, uneven parallel bars and floor exercises. Dipa, who accumulated 52.100 points in all, is the only medallist that Tripura has so far in the meet.

The overall individual silver was won by Madhya Pradesh representative Pranti Nayak (47.600), whose very participation for MP is being protested by the Bengal Olympic Association owing to her registration and training in the eastern state.

The bronze went to Bengal’s Pranati Das (43.000). But the aquatics centre continued to be the hub of excitement as Prakash picked up his sixth gold medal in front of delirious home supporters with a new meet record in the men’s 400m individual freestyle race. Prakash clocked 3:57.16sec to set a new Games record and was followed by Maharashtra’s Saurabh Sangvekar, who also broke the meet record by clocking 3:59.70sec. The bronze went to another local boy, Anand A S (4:3.97sec).

However, the biggest shocker of the day came in the men’s 50m backstroke race in which defending
champion and meet record holder Virdhawal Khade, a former Asian Games bronze-medallist, ended up fifth.

SSCB’s Madhu PS snatched the gold as well as the meet record from the Maharashtra swimmer by clocking 27.02sec. Following him in the second place was Madhya Pradesh’s Rohit Imoliya (27.22sec) and Maharashtra’s Rohit Havaldar (27.26sec). In the women’s race 400m individual medley, Maharashtra’s Aakanksha Vora clinched gold with a timing of 4:32.50sec, beating Karnataka’s Malvika V (4:35.07sec) and veteran Richa Mishra (4:39.45sec).
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