Boxers’ golden punch hands Haryana hosts KIYG crown | More sports news



PANCHKULA: Haryana boxers delivered the golden punch on the last and final day to claim the Khelo India Youth Games crown in spectacular fashion here on Monday.
Tied on 41 golds with Maharashtra, the hosts have won as many as 10 of the 20 boxing golds on offer to overtake the defending champions.
Haryana ended its campaign with a grand tally of 52 golds, 39 silvers and 46 bronzes to cement its status as the country’s premier sports state.
Maharashtra, which fought tooth and nail from day one, abdicated its throne, having won 45 gold, 40 silver and 40 bronze.
Karnataka finished third with 22 gold medals, including 19 in pool. Manipur finished fourth with 19 gold medals and Kerala fifth with 18.
Interestingly, Maharashtra started the day on a high, reclaiming the individual gold pole from boy mallakhamb which was held back on Sunday after a protest.
Their kho-kho boys and girls both needed to win gold to even place them ahead on the medal table. Haryana girls won gold in handball, narrowly beating Himachal Pradesh 29-28, to keep breathing down their necks.
But once the action moved to the boxing ring, it turned out to be a boon for Haryana. Six of their eight boxers took gold in the girls’ category while four of their five boys danced to the top of the podium.
Maharashtra had four boxing final contenders but only one of them could come back triumphant.
In the end, Haryana’s superiority in boxing (10) and wrestling (16) proved to be the difference in the overall equation. Their swimmers and weightlifters also won four fine gold medals each.
Maharashtra athletes have won eight gold medals while their swimmers, gymnasts and yogasana players have won six each. Their wrestlers and weightlifters also added three each to the tally.
On the final day of the competition, Mizoram clinched two gold medals with their men’s soccer team humiliating Kerala 5-1 in the final and Jeho Puingheta winning the men’s singles table tennis crown, beating West Bengal’s Ankur Bhattacharjee 4-2.
Punjab girls beat Tamil Nadu 68-57 and Karnataka boys edged Rajasthan 67-62 to split the two basketball gold medals while Delhi boys beat Haryana 38 -31 to win handball gold.
Hosts Haryana lead the standings with a total of 137 medals, followed by Maharashtra (125) and Karnataka (67).
There was a special message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this occasion.
“Over the years, talented sports people across the country have made themselves, their families and the whole country proud with their performances in various sports on different platforms.
“The talent and performance of all these players reflect the ever-growing potential of 21st century India on the world stage,” Prime Minister Modi said.
“Today, the hopes and aspirations of the country’s young players form the basis of decisions and policies. The promotion of sport in the new education policy emphasizes the construction of modern sports infrastructure. The synergy of Modern technology today creates a rich sports culture in India.
“From the identification, selection and training of talent in sport to the sporting needs of players, the government is with the country’s talented youth at every step,” he added.


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