Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)[India] February 2 (ANI): On a historic day three of the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 the hosts made a big splash at the beautiful Upper Lake area of its capital city, by garnering all four gold medals on offer in Kayaking and Canoeing.
The K-2 1000m Boys sprint pairing of Nitin Verma and Rimson Mairembam crossed the line first by a distance, to become the first gold medallists of the fourth edition of the KIYG. Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh also opened their gold medal accounts, winning one each in Table Tennis (TT), as eight states medalled on the first day they were awarded.
The day however belonged to the hosts as they showed off their wonderful water sports infrastructure and natural prowess in the disciplines, sweeping all four golds on offer. After Nitin, who along with Niraj Verma won double golds on the day, and Rimson sealed the Kayaking pairs sprint, it was the turn of the second Verma, no relation to each other, to partner Devendra Sen to victory in the C-2 Canoe sprint. Nitin and Niraj then also won the K-1 and C-1 singles races to ensure the total dominance of the hosts on the lake.
Odisha and Telangana were the other top performers on the waters, winning a total of six silver and bronze medals among them, according to a release.
At Indore's Abhay Prashal, where the TT competition is being held, there were two golds on offer in the Boy's and Girl's doubles fixtures respectively. Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh split it amongst themselves, with the former winning the Girl's doubles and the latter taking the Boy's doubles title.
The Girl's doubles final was an all-Maharashtra affair with Pritha Vartikar and Jennifer Varghese getting the better of Risha Mirchandani and Taneesh Kotecha 3-0 (13-11, 11-9, 11-7) in a match that was closer than the scoreline suggests. The Boy's doubles final went to four games but Divyansh Srivastava and Sarth Mishra eventually sealed the deal for Uttar Pradesh defeating West Bengal's Sujal Banik and Bodhisatwa Chaudhary 3-1 (8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8). The bronze went to Karnataka and Maharashtra in the Girl's and Boy's categories respectively.
There were a dozen sports played across five cities and 11 venues of the host state and many of them reached their business ends at the end of day three.
In Bhopal's SAI Indoor Hall, the Volleyball semi-final lineups were firmed up. Haryana joined Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal in the Girl's semis scheduled for Thursday day four. Haryana also made the Boy's semis where they will play powerhouses Tamil Nadu while Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh clash in the second Boys semis. Kerala's win against Uttar Pradesh (UP) enabled the Haryana girls to go through when they blanked Gujarat 3-0 in the final group game. Likewise in the Boy's section, Haryana's win against Rajasthan knocked the latter off the semis.
Also, at the MP Badminton Academy in Gwalior, semi-final lineups for the Girl's and Boy's singles were drawn up. Among the day's highlights was 14-year-old Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye's sensational come from behind 17-21, 21-19, 21-13 win against second seed Neysa Cariappa of Karnataka. The youngest Badminton player in the Games thus goes through for her first Khelo India semi-finals.
A few other sports also saw their first competitive day of action besides water sports. Archery qualifications began in Jabalpur, whereas Ujjain saw mesmerising Yogasana performances with Gymnastics proceedings also starting at the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE). The ever-popular Football kicked off as well, with the Boys playing in Indore and the Girls in Balaghat. The shooting also got off the blocks at the impressive M.P Academy Shooting range on the outskirts of Bhopal. Besides, group league Kho Kho action also continued at Jabalpur's Ranital Sports complex.
Day four action, besides the above, will see two more sports added to the roster with two more venues coming into the picture. The Track Cycling events will commence in Delhi while the traditional martial arts form Gatka will begin in Mandla.
It's still very early days yet but currently, Madhya Pradesh tops the medal tally with four golds while Maharashtra lies second with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. UP have one gold for third on the tally. (ANI)