The top three states were engaged in a titanic tussle for honours as the penultimate day of the first Khelo India School Games came to an end. Maharashtra with 24 gold held a slender lead over previous day’s leaders Haryana (23 gold) and hosts Delhi (22 gold) as the Games reached approached the climax.
With one more day left the race for the honours in terms of gold medals is still wide open as more than 50 gold medals will be decided on a packed final day. Boxing itself will account for 26 gold medals on the last day.
Maharashtra picked up a rich haul of 16 medals, including five gold medals to inch ahead of Haryana in the medals tally on the penultimate day of the first Khelo India School Games. Maharashtra, who were trailing overnight leaders by three gold medals a day earlier won both the Kho-Kho gold medals besides two more in Gymnastics and one in weightlifting.
Maharashtra now have 24 gold, 26 silver and 34 bronze for a total of 84 medals, while Haryana added one each of gold, silver and bronze on Wednesday, to slip to second place with 23 gold, 17 silver and 20 bronze and a total of 60 medals.
Hosts Delhi, who had three gold in gymnastics during the day, have the second highest number of medals at 77 – Maharashtra have 83 – are lying third in terms of gold medals. Delhi also has 24 silver and 31 bronze. Delhi’s haul for the day was three gold, four silver and five bronze.
Karnataka (15 gold, 11 silver and 15 bronze) occupy the fourth spot, while Uttar Pradesh (9 gold, 18 silver and 20 bronze) are fifth and Manipur, who picked up a big haul two gold, two silver and one bronze in the day, are sixth with a total of nine gold, four silver and three bronze.
Tamil Nadu (6-11-10) and Punjab, who had three gold in judo on Wednesday, are now eighth with six gold, two silver and 14 bronze.
The day’s most gold medals on offer were in gymnastics where nine sets of medals were awarded. Delhi picked up one-third of them through Mehakpreet Kaur (Girls All round rhythmic), Shayan Sharma ( Boys floor) and Srishti Manchanda (Artistic – Beam in girls).
Maharashtra (through Sandeep Lal in Boys rings and Purva Vijay in Boys Uneven Bars) picked two gold, while West Bengal had two gold from Protishtha Samanta (Girls Vault) and Bidisha Gayen (Girls Floor).
Maharashtra, considered a powerhouse in kho-kho lived up to their reputation by grabbing a golden double, winning both Boys and Girls title. After winning the Girls final beating Gujarat 7-6 win with the winning point coming with a little over five minutes to spare, the Maharashtra Boys beating Kerala 11-10.
Judo saw Punjab lead the domination among Boys, picking all three gold on offer on the day, while the three gold in girls section were shared by Gujarat, Manipur and Haryana. Punjab’s champion judokas of the day were Harshpreet Singh (81 kg), Manpreet Singh (73 kg) and Mehakpreet Singh (66 kg).
In weightlifting, the four gold medals were shared by Punjab (through Jasveer – Boys 94 kg), Telengana (through H Karthik – Boys 85 kg), Maharashtra (through Achinta Sheuli – Boys 77 kg) and Manipur (through Warepam Sapana Devi – Girls 69 kg).
In teams sports, fancied Odisha beat Uttar Pradesh in a penalty shootout to set up Boys hockey gold medal clash with Punjab, who beat Chandigarh 5-2.
In the Girls semi-finals, Jharkhand piped a spirited Punjab 2-1 to set up a title clash with Haryana, rallied from 0-2 to beat Chandigarh 4-3.
In football for boys, Mizoram underlined their class thrashing Delhi 5-0 to earn a title clash with Punjab, who beat Haryana 3-1.
The Girls final will be contested between Manipur and Haryana. Manipur beat Odisha 3-1 in the semis on Wednesday, while a day earlier Haryana thrashed West Bengal 8-0.