The Khelo India Youth Games 2020 in Guwahati started off on a great note for gymnasts who grabbed the spotlight on day one by clinching golds on Friday (January 10).
Tripura’s Priyanka Dasgupta clinched the girls’ Under-17 all-around crown in gymnastics, followed by Jatin Kumar Kanojia of Uttar Pradesh who then claimed the boys Under-17 all-around gold with a measure of comfort.
Asmi Ankush Badade and Shreya Pravin Bhangale made it a 1-2 for Maharashtra in the girls Under-17 rhythmic gymnastics all-around competition but it was the self-taught Upasha Talukdar who captured the hearts of the capacity crowd by winning a bronze, Assam’s first medal in the Games.
Maharashtra’s Maitreyi Amit Selukar and Nishka Chintamani finished higher in the ranking than Talukdar, who learned her routines by watching videos online.
But since the rules allow only two athletes from a state to win medals in a gymnastics event, the Assamese girl was awarded the bronze medal.
Gujarat’s Pramilaben Baria gave herself a belated birthday present with a superb set of 36 arrows to top the girls Under-21 recurve archery qualifying round with a score of 648 points.
Himani Kumari (Haryana), who lost the bronze medal play-off last year, finished second with 643 points, just ahead of World cadet champion Komolika Bari (Jharkhand).
The Haryana duo of Sachin Gupta (671) and Sunny Kumar (665) topped the boys Under-21 recurve archery qualifying round on a day when Andhra Pradesh’s Kundru Venkat (699) and Rajasthan’s Priya Gurjar (686) earned the right to be ranked first in the Under-17 compound boys and girls events respectively.
Coming from a city, Agartala, known for its gymnastics tradition dating back several decades, 15-year-old Priyanka, nailed the girls Under-17 all-around gold medal with a total of 42.60 points, improving on the 42.05 that West Bengal’s Protishta Samanta had secured en route to her yellow metal last year.
Daughter of a driver, Priyanka learned the ropes at the Vivekananda Byamagar in Agartala and, despite holding promise, missed out on a podium finish in Pune by a mere 0.05 points after an unsatisfactory show on the uneven bars. She ensured that there were no slips-up this time, completing her routines with aplomb.
(With inputs from agencies)