GANDinagar, Oct 8 Karnataka motorcycle racer Navin John has successfully defended his men’s individual trial title at the National Road Cycling Games competition on the East Gujarat Capital Highway.
Tongpram of Manipur and Monorama Devi, who was part of the Indian team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, defeated Chanika Gogoi (Assam) and Pooja Baban Dhanul (Maharashtra) to win the women’s 85km race on the road on a cloudy morning.
Services and Maharashtra rallied to win the men’s and women’s water polo medals at the Sardar Patel Water Sports Complex in Rajkot. The services recovered to beat Kerala 10-8 with two goals in the last minute in a strong men’s final while Maharashtra women beat Kerala 5-3 in the last round match to win the title.
With five medals on Saturday from water polo, cycling and yoga, Maharashtra overtook the services in total medal counts. They have 104 for 101 services. Services, of course, are entrenched at the top of the table with 42 gold, 31 silver and 27 bronze while Haryana is in second place with 29 gold, 23 silver and 23 bronze for a total of 75 medals so far.
Tamil Nadu Vaishnavi won the women’s Artistic Yogasana gold with 134.22 points, edging out the podium by Maharashtra duo Chhakuli Bansilal Selokar (127.68) and Purva Shriram Kinare (126.68). Purva would be hugely satisfied after the bronze medal effort, having snuck into the final as the tenth and final qualifier.
In men’s hockey at Mag Stadium. Dian Chand In Rajkot, Karnataka beat hosts Gujarat 11-2 to take the semi-final match with Haryana, which showed Tamil Nadu exit with a 3-0 victory. Uttar Pradesh beat West Bengal on penalties after the thrilling match ended 1-1 in normal play. Uttar Pradesh is waiting for the winner of Maharashtra vs Jharkhand match.
With a satisfactory second half in the Time Trial event, which is 38km in length, Naveen John justified his decision not to travel to New Delhi for the 4,000m solo pursuit event at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Complex Track circuit last week. “I wanted gold and focused on road events,” he said. “I didn’t want to just finish with secondary medals.”
Naveen John, who gave up his pursuit of a master’s degree in engineering to return to India a decade ago, had to overcome his own challenges on Saturday. “My racing suit, which was with me through victories in seven national championships, decided to give up. A safety pin came in handy, but I wasn’t in the racing mindset during the first 19 kilometer loop.”
“I could see the anxious look on Karnataka coach Anita’s face and realized I was behind the pace for the gold medal. I reminded myself of why I was here and increased my pace in the second ring to succeed in my mission to defend the gold medal I won in Kerala,” praising the arrangements that encouraged the cyclists To do my best.
“It was a safe path with traffic, or even pedestrians. The Gujarat Police and the organizers ensured we had a great experience. We crossed Sabarmati four times, which made it very beautiful too.” “We were also lucky with the weather, the road was nice and dry after a very wet evening. The weather gods showed up well today.”
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