Maharashtra reaffirmed their primacy in athletics, clinching three out of four sprint titles on Thursday to throw open the race for the Khelo India Youth Games championship.
Their impressive haul of eight gold, three silver and a bronze medal in track and field has narrowed the gap at the top of the table, with their 29 gold just one short of Haryana’s 30 after the day’s morning session.
Sudeshna Shivankar led from start to finish to clock 24.29 seconds to clinch the Girls 200m gold in style, well ahead of state-mate Avantika Narale to complete a hat-trick of sprint titles. She had run away with two gold earlier, first in the Girls 100m and then in the 4x100m relay to underline her supremacy.
Aryan Kadam (21.82 seconds) bagged the Boy’s 200m title while the quartet of Riya Patil, Pranjali Patil, Vaishnavi Kature and Shiveccha Patil sped away to the 4x400m gold. They clocked 4:02.76 and trumped second-placed Punjab by over 50 metres.
Madhya Pradesh’s Arjun Waskale also completed a double, annexing the Boys 3000m title in 8:37.62 after his exploits in the 1500m on the opening day of the competition.
Tamil Nadu’s Pradeep Senthilkumar (1:49.83) improved on N Sreekiran’s previous mark by almost a second to take the 800m gold ahead of Haryana’s Somnath Chauhan (1:51.63).
Supriti Kachhap of Jharkhand also registered a new mark, clocking 9:46.14, in the Girls 3000m version. The previous mark was held by Seema M (9:50.54).
Elsewhere, Punjab set up a summit clash with Uttar Pradesh in the Boy’s hockey final. Punjab hammered Jharkhand 3-0 in the first semifinal while Uttar Pradesh got the better of Odisha 3-2 in a close encounter.
UP captain Sharda Nand Tiwari scored the winner three minutes from time with a drag-flick after Odisha had fought back to level the scores four minutes into the start of the second half. Arun Sahani had scored a brace to put UP ahead by the 17th minute.