Rajkot: Karnataka teenager Aneesh S Gowda announced his arrival on the senior stage, beating seasoned Sajan Prakash for the gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle final in the National Games swimming competition here on Sunday.
On a day which saw five National Games records being rewritten in the pool, Gowda’s 1:51.88 was the standout effort. The 18-year-old, who won the event at the National Championships last month, showed nerves of steel and immaculate focus when squaring up against the Olympian Prakash.
Not to be left behind, track and field competitors also produced four National Games records in five finals at the IIT Gandhinagar ground.
Services high jumper Sarvesh Anil Kushare won gold with a clearance of 2.27m and Uttar Pradesh’s Usaid Khan bagged the gold in decathlon with 7121 points.
Haryana men’s 4x400m relay quartet and the Tamil Nadu 4x400m squad were the others who came up with new National Games Records.
2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist weightlifter Deepak Lather (Haryana) clinched men’s 81kg gold after a keen battle with Services’ Ajay Singh. Deepak took the top spot with a total lift of 315kg while Ajay Singh finished a mere 1kg behind, despite lifting two kilos more in Clean and Jerk.
In gymnastics, Olympian Pranati Nayak of West Bengal picked up two gold medals. She collected her first gold in the morning, the uneven bars title, and rounded it off by clinching the floor exercise crown in the evening.
Tripura gymnast Protishta Samanta also won two gold — in artistic vaulting and balancing beam.
In wrestling, reigning world under-20 champion Antim Panghal clinched gold medal in the women’s 53kg wrestling event. The 18-year-old from Hisar defeated Madhya Pradesh’s Priyanshi Prajapati in a victory by fall on her National Games debut.
In badminton, top seeds Telangana had to dig their heels in to edge out Maharashtra 3-2 in the semifinals of the mixed team championship. They will now face the HS Prannoy-led Kerala team, which got the better of hosts Gujarat 3-1, in the summit clash.
On the opening day of hockey competitions, Sunelit Toppo scored the winner for Odisha in their 3-2 win against Uttar Pradesh in a women’s Group A match at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Rajkot.
Favourites Haryana thumped novices Gujarat 30-1 in another match with Navneet Kaur and Neha leading the scoring with five goals each. For the hosts, Muskan Kureshi got a consolation goal in the 37th minute.