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Deepika leads Jharkhand to recurve gold in National Games

Deepika Kumari displays her gold medal

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist Deepika Kumari steered Jhakhand to two team gold medals in the recurve archery events but stunningly missed out on an individual podium finish even as the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) continued to stay on course for a hat-trick of overall titles on the eighth day of competitions in the 35th National Games here today.

SSCB were perched firmly at the top in overall medal standings with a total of 78 — 48 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze. Maharashtra remained second on account of lesser gold medals with a total tally of 91 (27 gold, 37 silver and 27 bronze), followed by Haryana (27 gold, 18 silver and 7 bronze).

At the archery arena in Kochi, the action concluded with the recurve events in which Jharkhand swept the women’s competition, winning three gold medals (women’s team, mixed team and individual).

Jharkhand, spearheaded by Deepika, beat Manipur, which featured veteran Bombayla Devi among others, in both the women’s team and mixed team finals to emerge on top.

The individual gold was brought in by Laxmi Rani Majhi, who sailed past Satbir Kaur Saini of Assam 7-3 in the summit clash. Deepika, a former world number one, finished fourth in the individual event after losing the bronze medal playoff 2-6 to Uttar Pradesh archer Seema Verma.

The mixed team and the women’s team bronze went to Bengal, featuring the likes of seasoned Dola Banerjee. The eastern state got the better of Assam in both the playoffs.

The men’s team gold was grabbed by Uttar Pradesh, ahead of Assam and SSCB respectively.

In athletics, which began today, favourites and hosts Kerala suffered a setback on the very first day when star long jumper Ranjith Maheshwary failed to make the finals after being disqualified for false starts in the qualifying round this morning.

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