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UP’s Ram Baboo Sets National Record Even as Nine Games Marks Tumble


Uttar Pradesh’s Ram Baboo set a National Record in Race Walk even as nine Games Records were broken in athletics and swimming in the 36th National Games here on Tuesday.

Home swimmer Maana Patel and Assam sprinter Amlan Borgohain were the stars of the day, entering the record books twice each.

Maana clocked a personal best time of 26.60 seconds in the 50m freestyle heats in the morning. Later in the evening, she improved her own Games Record while winning the 200m backstroke gold in 2:19.74.

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Sadly for home fans, she was beaten in the 50m Freestyle final.

Borgohain broke the 200m mark twice, first in the heats and then in the final. Four runners cracked the 21-second barrier in the final, but there was no denying the Assam athlete the men’s sprint double, having won the 100m dash earlier.

Borgohain left the field in his wake, as he blazed from the start, sped around the curve and consolidated on the home straight to the beam in 20.55 seconds in the final.

Andhra Pradesh’s Jyoti Yarraji also achieved the rare double of 100m and 100m hurdles but would consider herself unlucky. She became the first Indian female to clock a sub-13 seconds timing, (12.79 seconds) in the hurdles but could not lay claim to the National Games or National record due to wind assistance above the permissible limit of 2m/s.

She had faced a similar situation in the Federation Cup in Thenhipalam, Kozhikode, earlier this year when she dipped home in 13.09 seconds but the wind reading was +2.1m/s. She, however, did one better and created the National Record at 13.04 seconds in the Harry Schutling Games in the Dutch city of Vught.

At the Mahatma Mandir, Uttar Pradesh weightlifter Purnima Pandey overcame a stiff back to clinch the Women’s +87kg gold. Purnima, who finished sixth at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, did enough to take the top spot on the podium with total lifts of 215kg, with 95kg in Snatch and 120kg in Clean & Jerk.

Maharashtra claimed the kho-kho golden double, the men beating Kerala 30-26, after leading 26-10 at half-time, and the women’s team dashing Odisha’s hopes with an 18-16 win.

Manipur’s archers picked up two out of the four gold medals in the Indian Bow competition, with the Men’s team sharing the spoils with Okram Naobi Chanu. Okram won the single-arrow shoot’off against Gujarat’s Rathva Amita Ganpatbhai after th’y tied in the Women’s Individual 5-5. Manipur were denied a third gold by Kerala’s women.

Sanyunkta Kale (Maharashtra) topped the Women’s All-Around Rhythmic Gymnastics competition with 101.65 points ahead of her team-mate Richa Chordia (99.15) and Jammu and Kashmir’s Saneha Dewan (74.55). It was the only medal on offer in the Women’s Rhythmic Gymnastics.

At the Riverfront Sports Complex in Ahmedabad, Arjun Kadhe (Maharashtra) will meet Manish Suresh Kumar (Tamil Nadu) in the Men’s Tennis Singles final while Gujarat’s Zeel Desai will vie with Karnataka’s Sharmada Balu for the Women’s Singles crown.

In Surat, top-seeded Sai Praneeth (Telangana) and Malvika Bansod (Maharashtra) took contrasting routes to the men’s and women’s Badminton Singles respectively.

Sai Praneeth beat Sathish Kumar (Tamil Nadu) in straight games while Malvika Bansod lost the opening game to Delhi’s Aashi Rawat and needed to win an extended decider.

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