Deepika, Sarita bite dust, Services improve their tally

Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 24 (PTI) Commonwealth Games gold medallistDeepika Kumari and former boxing world champion LaishramSarita Devi bit the dust on a day of upsets while Servicesimproved on their last edition medal count to reign supreme inthe 34th National Games here today.

Jharkhand''s star archer Deepika Kumari lost in the finalto Assam''s Prativa Boro to provide the biggest jolt for thehosts, while the boxing ring provided another stunner when21-year-old Pinky Jangra knocked out reigning Asian championSarita Devi in 51kg.

Inspired by Pinky''s performance, Haryana grabbed sevengold medals in boxing to shoot themselves to number five spotahead of Kerala on the 12th day of competitions in themulti-sporting event.

Putting their big disappointment in archery behind, hostsJharkhand, however, did well in boxing, claiming seven goldwhile pocketing three yellow metals in weightlifting.

In men''s hockey, Jharkhand stormed into the final afterbeating Maharashtra 2-1 in a semifinal that had to be resumedthis morning from the 55th minute after it was stoppedyesterday because of crowd trouble.

Having made it to the finals in both men''s and women''ssections, Jharkhand are aiming for a double in hockey. Themen''s team will take on Punjab, while they face Haryana in thewomen''s section tomorrow.

17-year-old Indian archery sensation, Deepika Kumarifaltered in the women''s recurve final to settle for a silvermedal.

Deepika, who was given the honour by the hosts state tolight the Games'' flame, fell to intense pressure as the IndianOlympic hope lost out 4-6 to a cool and composed Assam girlPrativa in a nerve-wracking final in Jamshedpur.

Meanwhile, Services surpassed their medal haul ofprevious edition of the Games in Guwahati four years ago,after taking their tally to 62 gold, 45 silver and 38 bronzeto race way ahead of their rivals for the top spot.

Manipur too continued their march on the second spot with46-33-29 while Maharashtra remained on third spot with38-42-44. Delhi occupy the fourth place with 30-22-31.

Riding on the performance of boxers, Haryana were onfourth position with a tally of 33-28-39 as they pushed Delhi(31-22-33) and Kerala (27-25-26) to fifth and sixth positionsrespectively. Jharkhand (27-21-35) were on seventh place. PTITAP BS PVR PDS

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