PANAJI: Goa saved their best for the last as the home contingent bagged 11 gold medals along with 11 silver and six bronze medals on the penultimate day of the 37th National Games on Wednesday to raise hopes of a top-10 finish in the final standings.
The host contingent won six gold medals in Sqay Martial Arts at the Fatorda, three in boxing at Peddem and two in Yachting to take their gold medal tally 23 with hopes of adding a few more in Sqay.
Before Wednesday, Goa had won a maximum of six gold medals in a day thanks to their dominance in Sepak Takraw, a sport introduced in the National Games for the first time.
Goa has now won a total of 79 medals, including 23 silver and 33 bronze. Even before action started in multiple sports on Wednesday, it was clear that Goa would be winning bag full of medals as they had six boxers and a dozen participants in various weight categories of Sqay finals.
Sqay, a martial arts form from Jammu and Kashmir, is making a debut in the National Games and the Goan players showed that they have already started to master the sport winning six gold and silver medals in the Combat format.
The performance category will be held later in the day and tomorrow. Katya Coleho, who presented the torch to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the opening ceremony, and her brother Dayne added two gold medals to Goa’s tally from Yatching. Both Katya (IQ foil women) and Dayne (IQ foil men) were leading the standings going into the final day of competition at the Hawai Beach, Dona Paula and were declared winners after it was clear that Wednesday’s races cannot take place due to lack of wind. Adhwait Menon won a silver medal in Men’s ILCA 4 category while Pearl Colvalcar clinched the bronze medal in women’s ILCA 4 event.
“It’s the first time that Goa is hosting the National Games and I am still shocked that we have won the gold. The best thing is that my brother won the gold as well. It feels amazing,” said Katya after bagging the gold medal. “I had lot to prove at this National Games with my name being dropped from the Asian Games squad. This was my chance to prove that this is who I am and what I am capable of,” she added. In the boxing arena at the Peddem Indoor stadium, Goa registered their best ever performance in the history of the National Games and finished with three gold, three silver and four bronze medals.
Sakshi Chaudhury (50kg), Rajat (71kg) and Gaurav Chouhan (92+kg) clinched the gold medals while the trio of Akash Gorkha (63.5kg), Lokesh (80kg) and Sanamacha Chanu (75kg) ended up with silver medals. Roshan Zamir (51kg), Sai Ayush (92kg) and Niharika (60kg) had earlier assured themselves of a bronze medal to cap off a memorable outing for the contingent. Two-time youth world champion Sakshi led the gold rush for the home side by registering a convincing victory in the light flyweight category final over Malika of Madhya Pradesh.
The pretournament favourite lived up to the billing by dominating all three rounds of the contest to walk away with the gold.