Gynmasts, Khade propels Maharashtra to top in medal tally

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Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, February 17 (PTI) An overwhelming performance byits gymnasts and swimmer Virdhawal Khade''s double gold effortpropelled Maharashtra to the top spot in the medal standingsat the end of the fifth day in the 34th Asian Games heretoday.

Inspite of the performances on the field, today''scynosure of all eyes, however, was Uttar Pradesh athletePriyanka Panwar, whose parents accused an Athletics Federationof India official, Anu Kumar of sexually harassing theirdaughter.

Unaffected by the episode, Priyanka won the bronze in thewomen''s 100m as Sameer Mon of Services and H M Jyoti ofKarnatka emerged as the fastest sprinters of the NationalGames in the men''s and women''s sections respectively.

Maharashtra girls won six gold medals in the team andindividual competitions of the rhythmic gymnastics, whileIndian swimming sensation Khade hogged the limelight in poolwith two gold bagged in record timings to help the stateupstage Manipur from the top spot.

The day saw five records in swimming with Khade pickinghis fifth gold in total, while athletics saw one record bylocal lad Gurmit Singh in the 20km walk.

Riding on some fine performance by their shooters andathletes, Services Sports Control Board shot themselves to thesecond spot.

Maharashtra now have 22 gold, 25 silver and 22 bronzemedals, while Services too have an equal number of gold butwith 17 silver and 16 bronze they occupy the second spot.

Delhi are at the third place with 20-12-14, whileovernight leaders Manipur slipped to fourth position with19-10-14.

In the gymnastics, a team record score of 182.80 pointshelped Maharashtra clinch the first gold medal and the state''sShate Akshata emerged top in all round individual championship-- both competitions being held late last night.

Today, Akshata and Kshipra Joshi began with a bangwinning two gold medals each in their rhythmic events.

Thus Akshata became the first gymnast in this NationalGames to win three yellow metals.

However, both the gymnasts failed to repeat theirperformances with Akashata finishing third in ball (17.583)and Kshipra getting the bronze in the Ribbon (16.525).

Kshipra also got a silver in the all round individualrhythmic championship while Jammu and Kashmir''s Mitalifinished third in the event.

Punjab''s Prabhjot Bajwa won silver medals in rope andball events and ended up with a bronze in the hoop.

Kshipra finished second and third in rope and ribbonevents respectively while state-mate K Sadhichha won silver inthe hoop event.

Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab bagged silver and bronzemedals in the team championship of the rhythmic gymnastics.

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