In-form striker Subhani Bhengra struck once in each half as Jharkhand piped spirited Punjab 2-1 to set up a title clash with Haryana in the Girls Hockey competition of the Khelo India School Games at Dhyan Chand National stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.
Earlier in the first semi final, Haryana trailing 0-2 staged a remarkable come back to overpower fancied Chandigarh 4-3. Interestingly Haryana had beaten Jharkhand 4-2 in the first league match of the competition. Punjab and Jharkhand girls played a fast and combative game worthy of a semifinal.
It was a tense match as the two teams battled it out for supremacy. In the end it was Jharkhand who captalized on the chances that came their way while Punjab were left ruing the opportunities missed.
Minakshi’s boxing dreams find expression at KISG
Haryana’s Minakshi backed by the entire Rurkee village and its Sarpanch to take wings, has emerged as a boxer of quality. She rewarded them with a fine victory over her friend and international medallist Arshi Khanum (Rajasthan) to secure a the 50kg class medal at the inaugural Khelo India School Games in Delhi.
Even for someone who was adjudged the Best Boxer at the 2017 National Sub-Junior Boxing Championships, beating an international medalist was special. The feeling got deeper since the bout was a repeat of the 50kg final at the Junior Nationals.
“Before this bout, Arshi had said that she would easily win because she is now an international medalist. I proved her wrong,” Minakshi said of the girl who had won bronze medal in the the seventh Nation’s Cup tournament for junior and youth women held in Serbia in January. “We train together at National camps and she is a friend, but overconfidence is not good.”
Minakshi was unable to participate in the tournament as she was born in 2001 but she has set her hopes higher. “I don’t want to say I want to win an Olympic medal. We have to take one step at a time. My goal is to do well in the Asian Youth Championships in April and World Youth Championships in August this year,” she says.
Initiatives like KISG will change the future of Indian sports: Dola Banerjee
Olympian and Arjuna Awardee Dola Banerjee, who was in attendance at Khelo India School Games to meet the sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore along with other elite players, said that the path-breaking concept will not only help archery but also stimulate the growth of Indian sports in entirety.
“Since Khelo India is spotting the talent at the school level, I feel, not just archery but sports as a whole will pick up popularity. KISG will act as a catalyst for schools to introduce sports as an activity in time-tables. Sports in schools have never been a priority and KISG will have a direct impact on such decisions,” she opined.