Gandhinagar: Jamuna Boro and Ankushita Boro on Monday joined Tokyo bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain, Shiva Thapa and Pwilao Basumatary to ensure five medals for Assam from the boxing competitions at the 36th National Games here.

Former world championship medalist Jamuna Boro battled high fever, teary eyes and body ache before dishing out a clinical performance to make it to the semifinals of the women’s 57kg featherweight category. She was later joined by her statemate and good friend Ankushita Boro of Assam to confirm the fifth boxing medal for the state.

Among others from the Northeast, Alena Thounaojam of Manipur and Mizoram’s Malsawmitluanga also made it to the last four stages, which will be played at the Mahatma Mandir here on Tuesday.

While Jamuna overcame illness to outclass Rajasthan’s lesser-known Sapna Sharma in the opening bout of the day, Ankushita was the more dominant boxer in the 66kg welterweight category bout against home favourite Paramjit Kaur.

Jamuna will next face Haryana’s Poonam, who defeated Manipur’s Samim Band Khulakpham by split decision 4-1 in another 57kg quarterfinal. In the semifinal, Ankushita will take on Rajasthan’s Lalita, against whom she enjoys a dominating 3-0 advantage in head-to-head count. 

“I recently defeated Lalita in the semifinal of the Asian Championship trials in September. I got the better of her on two more occasions, so I know her game pretty well. I am confident of giving my 200 percent,” Ankushita told EastMojo.

In another women’s welterweight quarterfinal, Manipur’s Alena Thounaokam got the better of the 2018 world youth bronze medallist Astha Pahwa of Uttar Pradesh by a 5-0 verdict. In the semifinal, the Manipuri boxer will face Punjab’s Komalpreet Kaur, who defeated Madhya Pradesh’s Shruti Yadav by a 4-1 margin.

In men’s 75kg middleweight division, Mizoram’s Malsawmitluanga recorded a stunning 5-0 unanimous verdict win over Uttarakhand’s Pankaj Kumar. In the same category, Goa’s Puspender Rathee defeated UP’s Gagandeep 5-0, to set up a semifinal clash with the Mizo pugilist.

At the opposite exhibition centre in Mahatma Mandir, Arunachal Pradesh’s Mercy Ngaimong and Manipur’s Wangkheirakpam Ningthibi Devi ensured a two-two podium finish in women’s wushu Daoshu and Gunshu category. Madhya Pradesh’s Bhooraksha Dubey settled for the bronze. 

At the Eka Arena Transstadia in Ahmedabad, defending champions Manipur retained their crown after handing Odisha a 2-0 defeat in the women’s football final played under floodlights here. Both the goals came in the first half. It was a facile and expected win for the North Eastern state who have been dominating the national championships in recent years.  

Elsewhere, Maharashtra’s Mallakhambh stars, led by the sport’s reigning queen Rupali Sunil Gangwane, came into their own by winning three of the five gold at stake today to take the state to the second spot on the medal table ahead of Haryana for the first time in several days of competition.

Akshay Prakash Taral, the men’s All-Around champion, added a second gold to his collection by winning the Rope competition with 8.95 points. His team-mate Shubhankar Vinay Khawle scored 9.20 points on the Pole to win the other gold for Maharashtra, stopping a strong challenge by Madhya Pradesh.

Gujarat’s Pooja Patel teamed up with Komal Makwana to clinch her second Yogasana gold medal while 10-year-old Shauryajit Khaire became the youngest medallist at the National Games after clinching bronze in Pole Mallakhambh. Gujarat also added two bronze medals from Soft Tennis to take their overall medal haul to 43, including 13 gold, 12 silver and 18 bronze.

There was massive disappointment for the Maharashtra men’s hockey team who were unable to make the most of their pre-match favourites tag against Uttar Pradesh in the semifinals at the Maj. Dhyan Chand Stadium in Rajkot. Maharashtra rallied from three goals down to take the match into the penalty shootout but ran out of luck.

Karnataka will take on Uttar Pradesh in the men’s final on Tuesday. They struck in the first and the fourth quarters to pull off a convincing 3-1 win over Haryana in the other semifinal. 

Abharan Sudev converted Karnataka’s first penalty corner in the fourth minute but Haryana hit back through Kohinoor Preet Singh scored in the 17th minute. After a barren third quarter, Karnataka scored Nikkin Thimmaiah CA (47th minute) and Harish Mutagar (51) to seal their place in the summit clash. 

The Softball competition at the IIT Gandhinagar is also heading for a climax, with the Maharashtra men and Punjab women’s teams booking their place in the respective Grand Finals. Either of them beat squads from Chhattisgarh in the play-off games for the teams topping the pools. Thus, the Chhattisgarh teams will have to feature in the qualifiers against the winners of the matches featuring the sides who claimed second-place in the pools.

Andhra Pradesh who beat Delhi 4-0 in the men’s eliminator and Kerala, who edged out Maharashtra 4-3 in the women’s match will both hope to stun Chhattisgarh and earn themselves a crack at the gold medal in the respective Grand Finals.

Back on the Sabarmati riverfront, it was heartening to watch the experienced Rajina Kiro hold her own in the women’s K1 500m sprint against Kaushal Nandini Thakur (Chhattisgarh) and Pooja (Haryana). 

Ragasri Manogar Babu (Tamil Nadu) won the Soft Tennis women’s singles gold with an easy win over Aadhya Tiwari (Madhya Pradesh). The Tamil Nadu player had to put her best foot forward in beating the home state’s Hetvee Chaudhari 1-4, 2-4, 4-1, 4-1, 1-4, 9-7, 7-0 in the semifinals. The Men’s singles crown went to Jay Meena (Madhya Pradesh).

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