Maharashtra stormed into the lead and bagged the top spot in the medal tally at the 2022 Khelo India Youth Games in Panchkula on June 11. They edged Haryana, who did not win a single gold on the day, by winning three gold medals on Saturday.
Maharashtra athletes reigned supreme in tennis, table tennis, and swimming to win a total of 37 gold medals, pipping Haryana who have 36 gold medals.
With only two days of competition left, the race for bragging rights gets intense with every passing event.
Haryana, however, are primed for a spectacular finish in the 2022 Khelo India Youth Games with a bounty of gold awaiting them in the boxing ring.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka athletes on top in 2022 Khelo India Youth Games
On Saturday, Maharashtra’s Akanksha Nitture bagged the Girls' Singles tennis title, beating Karnataka’s Sunita Maruri 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-4. Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh got together to defeat Haryana’s Suhana Saini and Prithoki Chakraborti 14-12, 11-9, 11-6 in table tennis. Swimmer Apeksha Fernandes eventually put Maharashtra ahead by winning the 200m Girls' Individual Medley, setting a new meet mark of 2:25.18s.
Kerala bagged a total of 11 golds, 10 silvers and 10 bronze medals in their traditional sport, Kalaripayattu, to jump to fifth spot on the Khelo India medal tally. They now have 13 gold medals, behind Karnataka’s 21 and Manipur’s 16.
Karnataka continued to dominate the swimming pool as they bagged four of the six gold medals on offer on the day. Utkarsh Patil (Boys' 200m Backstroke), Ridhima Veerendrakumar (Girls' 200m Backstroke), Aneesh Gowda (Boys' 800m Freestyle) and Karnataka’s 4x100m Medley Team clinched top honours.
The boys' individual road race crown went to Adil Altaf. The Srinagar-born cyclist, who is currently training in Patiala, completed the race in 1:59:22s to clinch the gold ahead of Maharashtra’s Sidhesh Patil.
Gujarat were the other big winners at the Khelo India Youth Games as tennis player Dhruv Hirpara and cyclist Muskan finished atop the podium.
Dhruv downed Rushil Khosla of Uttar Pradesh 6-4, 7-5 in the Boy’s Singles final. Rushil produced some delectable volleys but was playing with an injury, even needing a medical timeout twice in two sets.
Muskan won the Girls' individual road race (70km) in 1:17:23s. Kerala’s Sneha K and Ladakh’s Leakzes Angmo bagged silver and bronze.
Meanwhile, Mizoram set up a fascinating clash with Kerala in boy’s football. Lalhanzova's brace in the first semi-final helped favourites Mizoram blank Karnataka 4-0. In the other semi-final, Kerala goalkeeper Surajith Kumar's heroics in extra-time enabled them to prevail 3-1 after regulation time had ended goalless.
In archery, Rajasthan and Haryana are assured of a gold medal as the Boys' and Girls' Recurve event will be played among players from the same state. Rajasthan’s Kapish Singh and Ajay Kumar Nagarwal will compete for gold in the Boys' event while Tamanna and Ridhi of Haryana will face off in the Girls' final.