Services stamp authority, top National Games by a big distance

Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 25 (PTI) Services stamped their authoritywith seven gold on the penultimate day of the competitionstoday as they left their rivals far behind on top of the medaltally in the 34th National Games here.

Having improved on their medal count of last editionyesterday, Services continued their dominant march on the topwith five gold coming from canoeing and kayaking today as theytotalled 69 gold, 50 silver and 42 bronze.

With just two gold medals to be decided tomorrow, inmen''s and women''s table tennis singles, Services will finishon top of medal tally way ahead of their nearest rivals.

Manipur held on to second position with 48-37-33 whileHaryana (42-33-40) displaced Maharashtra (39-43-46) fromnumber three spot with most of medals coming from wrestlingarena and the triumph in women''s hockey.

Hosts Jharkhand had another fruitful day as they baggedsix gold medals to jump to fifth with 33-24-37.

Services gained heavily from canoeing and kayaking eventsheld in the Maithon Dam of Dhanbad where they grabbed fiveyellow metals.

Today''s performance meant that Services had a rich haulof 13 gold and five silver from canoeing and kayaking followedby Kerala at the second spot.

Services also won the men''s archery compound team titlewhile their seventh gold of the day came from wrestling.

Wrestling arena was dominated by Haryana who won a total14 gold medals including today''s haul of five.

Haryana picked up the first of their five gold medalswhen Amit Kumar overpowered Services'' Pankaj Rana in the finalof the men''s 66kg freestyle category.

Vinod added the second gold medal of the day for Haryanaby defeating Delhi''s Sukhvinder in a closely-fought bout inthe men''s 55kg freestyle.

Haryana bagged the third gold medal of the day whenNirmala won the women''s 48 kg freestyle final against Delhi''sSumel.

In the 55 kg men''s Greco Roman style, Haryana''s RajendraKumar won the gold medal by defeating Delhi''s Manjeet.

In men''s 120 kg Greco-Roman style, Haryana''s Dharmedradefeated Jharkhand''s Rishi Pal to win the gold medal.

Services'' Suresh Kumar emerged winner in the 66kg GrecoRoman freestyle final against Punjab''s Harmendra.

In women''s hockey, Haryana beat Jharkhand 3-1 to clinchthe title.

Surinder Kaur struck twice while Joydeep Kaur slammed theboard. The hosts reduced the margin through Kanti.

Punjab defeated Jharkhand 2-0 to emerge winners in men''shockey.

After facing waves of attacks from the hosts throughoutthe game, Ravi Pal and Sarvanjit Singh struck in 55th and 64thminutes against the run of the play to give Punjab the goldmedal, much to the disappointment of a capacity home crowd.


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