Khelo India School Games
Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore during the launch of Pledge for Khelo India at the Khelo India School Games Carnival in New Delhi.IANS

Karnataka swimmers dominated Thursday, February 1, winning six of the nine gold medals at the SPM Pool in the inaugural Khelo India School Games (KISG) in New Delhi on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, sprinter V.A. Shashikanth from Government Sports High School and Youth Centre in Vidyanagar gave them their first gold when he won the 200 metres.

That saw Karnataka lead the medals tally with seven gold and they had three bronze medals for a total of 10 medals.

The second day of the KISG saw a total of 17 gold medals with nine in the pool, seven on the track and one in wrestling.

While Karnataka ruled the pool, honours were more evenly distributed in athletics, where Haryana won two gold and five states Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu won one each.

Sharing the second place on the medals tally behind Karnataka are Tamil Nadu and Haryana with three gold each. Both states have earned their gold medals from athletics.

Down the medals tally, Kerala and Maharashtra have two gold, both from athletics, while seven states, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh have one gold each.

A total of 14 states, from the 36 which are competing in these Games have already found a place in the medals tally.

The first wrestling gold was also decided as there were only three contestants and it went to Maharashtra's Nikhil Mali, who won his bouts against Amit of Haryana and Maharashtra's Krushna Ghodke, respectively. Amit took the silver as he won his bout against Ghodke.

Swimmer Srihari Nataraj shines

The day's biggest star was Karnataka swimmer, Srihari Nataraj, who bettered his own national record in 100m backstroke with a time of 56.90 seconds, improving on his own mark by nine hundredths of second.

He was also part of the Karnataka team which raced away to a gold medal in 4 x 100m freestyle, where he swam the final leg.

Kerala's Ancy Sojan reigns supreme on track

Three others, all in athletics, have also become multiple medallists. Among them, Kerala's Ancy Sojan, like Srihari, won both her medals on Thursday.

She carried in on in the tradition of excellent jumpers from Kerala, winning the girls long jump and finished second in 200 metres. The two events were held in very a short span of time.

Ancy ran the 200m heats at 10.45 am followed by long jump, which began at 11.40 am and the 200m final was at 12.40 pm. The tight scheduling took a toll and Ancy finished second to Chanveer Kaur.

The 16-year-old Ancy Sojan is from Government Fisheries Higher Secondary School, Nattika, and is coached by Sanuj V. in Thrishoor.

Two other athletes have become multiple medallists, as Sandra Babu of Kerala won her second silver -- she was second in long jump after being second in triple jump a day earlier. Tamil Nadu's Praveen too added a long jump silver to his triple jump gold.