Guwahati, Shivangi Sarma stamped her signature on the Khelo India Youth Games here with a fifth freestyle swimming gold medal on Tuesday to emerge as the most successful individual athlete.
Kenisha Gupta was just as successful, who won her third gold to add to the two relay crowns for which she anchored Maharashtra’s teams to victory.
Shivangi owned the pool, adding the 50m freestyle titles in a time of 27.43 seconds to the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle gold medals that she won over the last three days.
Her decision to compete for Assam in this edition of the Games helped the hosts rise to the sixth place on the medals table ahead of the formidable teams from Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
There was no difference in the top five, with Maharashtra holding a handsome lead over Haryana both in number of gold and total medals.
Maharashtra’s 74 gold, 68 silver and 92 bronze gave the state a total of 234 medals, well past the 228 that their athletes won at home in Pune last year. Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are placed above Assam.
Kenisha Gupta, a long-limbed 16-year-old Mumbaikar, held her own by winning the under-17 50m race in a faster time despite a visibly slower start.
She could claim bragging rights by clocking a faster time than the senior girl, but the modest swimmer kept a low-profile despite winning five gold medals herself, letting Shivangi Sarma bask in the limelight.
Karnataka swimmer Srihari Nataraj’s loss to Mihir Ambre in the 50m freestyle final meant that he went out of the reckoning to garner five gold medals.
Karnataka and Maharashtra swimmers will resume their own battle in the Zakir Hussain Aquatics Complex on the final day on Wednesday, with both teams having won 17 golds each.
Gujarat’s Mir Tasnim Irfan Ali beat favourite Unnati Bisht of Uttarakhand in three games in the girls under-21 singles final in the Deshbhakt Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium. Madhya Pradesh’s Sakshi Phogat took the under-17 gold with a 21-16, 23-21 victory over Riya Habbu (Maharashtra).
Amit Rathore (Madhya Pradesh) beat Sathish Kumar (Tamil Nadu) 21-18, 21-19 in the boys under-21 final while Haryana’s Bharat Raghav defeated Shubham Patel (Rajasthan) 21-19, 21-19 in the under-17 title clash.
In an all-Haryana final in the boys under-17 singles tennis in which no quarter was asked, and none given, Gurgaon’s Chirag Duhan beat Rohtak’s Krishan Hooda 6-4, 7-5. With Krishan Hooda fighting all the way, those by the courtside at the All Assam Tennis Association Complex in Chachal were treated to a really long game that extended over 17 minutes.
The girls’ final was pretty one-sided with Vaidehi Chaudhari (Gujarat) beating Telangana’s Sathwika Sama who was just unable to find her rhythm. The Ahmedabad girl ran out a 6-3, 6-1 winner, playing smart, percentage tennis and applying pressure on her rival.
Daman and Diu broke into the medals tally with a silver medal in boxing. Harsh Shri Bhagwan enjoyed a good run to the boys under-17 52kg class final where he lost to Shaikhom Singh (Maharashtra).
Ambesori Devi of Manipur was among the girls who climbed to the top of the podium ahead of the Haryana boxers.