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Khelo India Youth Games 2019: Manipur win first wrestling gold, records tumble in weightlifting

For Loyangamba, Wednesday’s gold was another feather in a career that has started to bloom. After winning the U-15 national title in 2018, he won the Asian Championships last year.

other-sports Updated: Jan 09, 2019 21:45 IST
Abhishek Paul and Ankit Kumar Singh
Abhishek Paul and Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Pune
Performers display their skills in yoga during the opening ceremony of 'Khelo India Youth Games 2019'.
Performers display their skills in yoga during the opening ceremony of 'Khelo India Youth Games 2019'.(PTI)
         

Till three years back, K Loyangamba Singh had never touched the wrestling mat. Growing up in an orphanage in Imphal, he was more focused on Mukna --- a traditional form of wrestling in Manipur generally played on mud or sand.

It was a chance spotting by coach M Muhindro Singh that brought him to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Manipur capital and there has been no looking back. On Wednesday, Loyangamba clinched gold in the U-17 Greco-Roman 51kg category defeating Maharashtra’s Dnyaneshwar D Desai. Haryana’s Amandeep Singh and Madhya Pradesh’s Ankit won bronze.

For Loyangamba, Wednesday’s gold was another feather in a career that has started to bloom. After winning the U-15 national title in 2018, he won the Asian Championships last year.

Despite the success, the Manipur lad remains a quiet character mostly due to his weak Hindi. Always travelling with a statemate by his side, any question directed at him has a similar answer: “My Hindi weak.’

Imphal SAI centre coach Y Lukhoi Mangang comes to his help. “We saw his talent in Mukna, which has a style similar to Greco-roman wrestling. He started training three years back and has made tremendous progress,” he said. “We are now waiting for the R5 lakh as part of the Khelo India scheme so that he can train better.”

Loyangamba’s coaches believe he has the potential to achieve greater things. “Greco-roman wrestling is still developing in India and that’s why we believe by the time he reaches the senior level, he will become a much better wrestler,” Loyangamba’s first coach Muhindro said.

Delhi dominate

Apart from the lone wrestling medal won by Manipur, Delhi trumped Haryana on Day 1 of the wrestling action, clinching five gold.

At the U-17 level, Delhi’s Neeraj (65kg), Ravi (71kg), Vjender (80kg) and Naveen Punia (92kg) clinched the top spot, while Sachin Rana added another gold for Delhi in 60kg category (U-21).

For Haryana, only Ravi (60kg) and Pradeep Kumar (55kg) won gold at the U-17 and U-21 level respectively. Punjab’s Honey Pal Singh (67kg, U-21) and Maharashtra’s Pravin Patil (55kg, U-17) were the other gold-medal winners.

National record

In weightlifting, several national records were broken with Maharashtra clinching three of the four gold on offer.

In the U-21 men’s 55kg category, Maharashtra’s Shubham Kolekar clinched gold with a total lift of 236kg. His clean and jerk effort of 139kg bettered his own national mark of 138kg. Odisha’s Muna Nayak (230kg) and Maharashtra’s Prashant Koli (225kg) came second and third, respectively.

Odisha’s Bhaktaram Desti won gold in the U-17 49kg category with a total lift of 186kg. He bettered his clean and jerk record of 104kg with a lift of 105kg. Tamil Nadu’s T Madhavan (172) and statemate K Guru Kannan (165) won silver and bronze, respectively.

In the U-17 men’s 55kg category, Maharashtra’s Abhishek Ganesh Mahajan (211) clinched gold with Chattisgarh’s Subhash Lahre (205) and Arunachal Pradesh’s Golom Tinku (201) coming second and third, respectively.

In the only women’s weightlifting event of the day, Maharashtra’s Soumya Dalvi won gold in the 40kg category with record overall lift of 111kg. Her snatch lift of 51kg was also a national record. Her statemate Arati Tatgunti (100) came second while Arunachal Pradesh’s Sandiya Gungli (95) finished third.

“This was a dream of my father who has been training me for a long time. I want to win gold in the Olympics,” said Soumya, whose father, Sunil, was a weightlifter in his prime.

J&K strikes gold

Bavleen Kaur gave Jammu and Kashmir its first gold as she won the Under-17 all-round rhythmic gymnastics event.

Bavleen scored a total of 43.40 to top the podium ahead of Maharashtra’s Shreya Bhangale and Krisha Chheda who finished second and third with scores of 39.70 and 37.25, respectively.

First Published: Jan 09, 2019 21:38 IST

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