National Games: Goa's Kareena bags gold in Pencak Silat
Kareena Shirodkar burst the real bubble on the podium after winning the second gold for Goa in Pencak Silak , swimmer Sanjana Prabugaokar won silver in 200 m freestyle swimming and Ajay Kumar won bronze in athletics 5000 m freestyle leaving the host end fourth days play of the 37th National Games with a tally of 27 medals- two gold; five silver; 20 bronze- but still 17th on the table.
V K Elakkiyadasan of Tamil Nadu and S S Sneha of Karnataka were crowned the fastest athletes of the games having won the men and women 100 m gold at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. Elakkiyadasan finished with a timing of 10.36 and S S Sneha did it in 11.45 seconds.
Maharashtra are racing ahead in the table standing with 41 gold and having crossed the tally of 100 medals followed by Haryana who have won 18 gold from a total of 40. Strife-torn Manipur is on the fifth position with seven gold from a total of 21. Twenty-five states have finished winning gold medals.
“I went for it and got it. Sport is my passion. It keeps me calm; it keeps me happy and it gives me peace,” said 23-year-old Kareena after a convincing win against Jiya Choudhary from Jammu and Kashmir.
For 16-year-old Sanjana, who trains abroad, it was a “good feeling to win at home”. Sanjana clocked a timing of 2.08.09 to finish behind Dhinidhi Desinghu of Karnataka who finished with a timing of 2.07.32 and Vritti Aggarwal from Telangana finished third with a timing of 2.09.42.
Ajay finished with a timing of 14.13.33 behind Gavit Kumar of Gujarat (14:13:14) and winner Gulveer Singh from Services finished with a timing of 14.13.03.
Goa is blooming in terms of medals with Pencak Silat pocketing a maximum of nine medals – one gold, one silver and seven bronze.
“We have over one thousand youngsters practicing this martial art these days and the results will encourage many more,” stated Anthony Braganza, secretary of Pencak Silat Association of Goa.
Kareena decided to opt for Pencak Silat despite having won laurels for Goa in Taekwondo, because she smelt glory in the sport and her instincts proved right after she had gold hanging around her neck.
“I will continue pursuing both sports and participate wherever I get the opportunity as I love challenges. My mama thought me to look fearlessly ahead and that’s the key to my success,” Kareena said as her statements brought the blushes from her mother Sebat.
“I have always told my daughter to do what she feels comfortable with and despite doing well in studies, she has had a soft corner for sports from young,” said Sebat who is known to many as Cookie.
Goa’s table tennis campaign began with hiccups, the match between Goa’s Wesley do Rosario, representing Haryana and Goa’s Anshuman Agarwal, being the only highpoint with Wesley winning convincingly despite stumbling in the third match.
Wesley threw a lot of points due to his unforced errors. After winning the first match 11-9, he walked through the second and when he looked to wrap the game in the third, when he was leading game point to 7, he erred by preferring to play safe and enabled Anshuman equalise and win 12-10.
Wesley used the full table to catch Anshuman off guard with his subtle placement shots and at times caught him off guard playing close to the net. Agarwal, tried to fox Wesley with some deceptive serves but the highlight of the day was when Wesley returned an Anshuman smash with his hand behind his back to the loudest applause of the day. He won 11-9, 11-6, 10-12 and 11-8.
Goa men kept the beach football tempo on a high after scoring another convincing 19-5 win over Punjab in Colva. Kashinath, Richard and Satish scored four goals each for the hosts and Pedro scored three. Joshua netted twice and Nehal and Pratik scored a goal each. In the other matches, Uttarakhand defeated Odisha 11-6.