The National Games 2022 in Gujarat got off to a rollicking start with favorites Mirabai Chanu, pathbreaking fencer Bhavani Devi, wrestler Divya Kakaran and local shooter Elavenil Valarivan living up to their billing to clinch gold medals in their respective events with relative ease on Friday, September 30.
At the athletics arena in IIT Gandhinagar, nine Games records fell over the course of the day.
Munita Prajapati (Uttar Pradesh), daughter of a construction laborer, and 17-year-old Parvej Khan (Services) overshadowed everyone with their feats. Munita set the first record for this edition in the women’s 20km walk, clocking a commendable 1:38.20s.
Parvej Khan then broke renowned Bahadur Prasad’s 28-year-old Games record in the men’s 1,500m to the delight of the fraternity. He slashed nearly two seconds off his personal best time to win the metric mile gold in 3:40.89s.
2018 Asian Games decathlon champion Swapna Barman, competing in Madhya Pradesh colors here, claimed the women’s high jump record with a leap of 1.83m, while Praveen Chithravel (Tamil Nadu) made light of a depleted triple jump field to win gold with a National Games record effort of 16.68m.
Damneet Singh (Punjab) in men’s hammer throw and Kiran Baliyan (Uttar Pradesh) in women’s shot put also entered the record books.
In the men’s 100m semifinals, Amlan Borgohain (Assam) also broke the National Games record, of 10.45s by Haryana’s Dharambir Singh in Thiruvananthapuram in 2015.
Amlan Borgohain, who has been in good form this season, stopped the clock at 10.28s, two-hundredths of a second outside the national record held by Amiya Kumar Mallick since 2016.
Elsewhere, powered by Ankita Raina, Gujarat women’s tennis team booked their final berth with an easy win over Karnataka. They will start as favorites in the gold medal match against Maharashtra at the Riverside Sports Complex on Saturday.
National Games 2022: Bhavani Devi wins hat-trick of gold medals
In Gandhinagar, Bhavani Devi (Tamil Nadu) completed a hat-trick of women’s sabre individual gold medals at the National Games. Having barely slept after flying in from her training base in France and having carried the Tamil Nadu flag in the athletes’ parade at the National Games 2022 opening ceremony, she spent a productive day at the Mahatma Mandir Complex, asserting her primacy as India’s best sabre fencer.
Meanwhile, Divya Kakaran (Uttar Pradesh) stopped a Haryana sweep of all six gold medals at stake on the opening day of the wrestling competition. She won the women’s 76kg class title, beating Haryana's Reetika in the quarterfinals and Rohini Satya Shivani (Telangana), and Rani (Himachal Pradesh) with a measure of comfort in the subsequent bouts.
Haryana men and Odisha women claimed the Rugby 7s gold medals, respectively with victories over Maharashtra teams. Haryana's men played a better second half to sprint away from 7-7 at the break to a 19-7 win. Odisha women, who stunned national champions Bihar in the semifinals, dominated their title clash, opening up a 15-0 lead in the first half in a 22-0 win.
Haryana scored a golden double in netball, their men’s team defeating Telangana 75-73 in a thriller that went down to the wire and their women quelling Punjab’s challenge 53-49.