KOCHI:Kerala claimed 10 gold medals on the penultimate day of competitions to move into the second spot in the overall standings in the 35th National Games on Thursday.
While the hosts now have 128 medals (37 gold, 38 silver and 53 bronze), defending champions Services remain on top with a tally of 140 (82 gold, 27 silver and 31 bronze).
On expected lines, Kerala scooped up five golds from the track and field events at the University Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. O P Jaisha ran off with a unique long-distance double, pushing fan favourite Preeja Sreedharan to silver in the women’s 10,000 m, after having taken the 5000 m race on the opening day of the athletics events.
Star triple jumper Renjith Maheswary shattered fellow competitor Arpinder Singh’s old mark, with an effort of 16.66 metres to make it a family double. His wife K S Surekha, competing for Tamil Nadu, had struck gold in the pole vault the other day. Earlier, Anu Raghavan, who had clinched a silver medal in the women’s 400 m, improved it to a golden hue in her pet event - 400 m hurdles.
The cycling velodrome at LNCPE again underlined Kerala’s dominance, as women’s team skipper Mahitha Mohan led the way in capturing two golds. Mahitha, who has a had a hand in as many as five top-placed finishes, was in her elements in the 20 km points race after teaming up with Lidiyamol M Sunny, Parvathy V Gopakumar and Rejani Vijayakumar to pocket the team 4 km team pursuit gold.
At the CIAL Convention Centre in Nedumbassery, the women’s sabre team - comprising C A Bhavani Devi, Neha Hari Khare, Desni V and Josna Christy Jose priced out another gold in fencing. The women’s kayaking team of Justymol C T, Mini Mol Kuttappan, Treesa Jacob and Anusha Biju chipped in with a gold from the 500m fours race.