Yash Ghangas shows his might with gold at Nationals

At 6 feet 1 inch, Yash Ghangas was weighing around 122kg when the pandemic led to nationwide lockdown in March 2020.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

GANDHINAGAR: At 6 feet 1 inch, Yash Ghangas was weighing around 122kg when the pandemic led to a nationwide lockdown in March 2020. He headed for his home in Panipat, Haryana as the SAI Centre in Bhopal like other sporting centres across the country, was shut down. He has been training there since 2018 under judo head coach Yashpal Singh Solanki.

And as the SAI centre reopened after eight months, thanks to home food, and lack of training, Yash had gained nearly 20kgs and was weighing 145 kgs.

"I put on a lot of weight during that period. But once the training started, I began shedding extra kilos. Within a couple of months, I reached 122kg," Yash, who clinched +100kg judo gold here at the Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar on Monday, told this daily.

Yash Ghangas
Yash Ghangas

Senior National Judo Championships was held in Lucknow, in August to select the top 16 judokas in each weight category for the Gujarat event. The Lucknow championships were 19-year-old Yash's first senior nationals. He lost the semifinal bout against Dhyan Singh of Rajasthan but finished on the podium winning a bronze medal.

Incidentally, the Rajasthan judoka was once again between him and the final bout on Monday. Yash, however, this time managed to avenge the past loss as he beat his opponent to enter the final. Earlier, he had defeated Vikash of the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) and Deepak PS of Kerala in rounds 1 and 2 respectively. He then got the better of Sunil of Chandigarh in the summit clash to win gold on his debut.

"He defeated me in the nationals semifinal and we met here again in the last-two bout. This time I managed to score the golden score to make up for the previous loss," said Yash, who had bagged a silver at the 2021 Asia-Oceania Junior Championships.

Anand Kumar, Yash's father, was a kabaddi player and wanted his son to pursue wrestling. However, Yash started judo training at Pratap School, Kharkhoda (Haryana). "He always wanted me to pursue sports and wrestling was his choice, however, he never forced me to take up a particular sport. He was happy with my decision when I started judo training," added Yash.

Top guns cruise to semifinals
Reigning national champion Sumit Kundu, former world championship medallist Jamuna Boro and Asian champion Sanjeet cruised to the semifinals of their respective weight divisions on Monday.

Representing the Services, Sumit, a quarterfinalist at the world championships, managed to breach through the defences of Haryana’s Ankit Khatana, across the three rounds before eventually pocketing the men’s 75kg middleweight category bout by a unanimous verdict. He will now be up against Maharashtra’s Nikhil Dubey for a place in the final.

In the 92kg heavyweight category, Sanjeet used his long arms to great effect against the shorter Delhi opponent Harsh Kaushik to win the bout by RSC.

Assam girls Jamuna Boro and Ankushita Boro registered to dominate victories to confirm their respective semifinal berths. Jamuna will next face Haryana’s Poonam, who defeated Manipur’s Samim Band Khulakpham by a split decision 4-1 in another 57kg quarterfinal. Similarly, Ankushita will take on Rajasthan’s Lalita, against whom she enjoys a dominating 3-0 advantage in the head-to-head count, the last-four stage.

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