In CWG haul, Haryana proves its might

October 15th, 2010 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, Oct 15 (IANS) It has only two percent of India’s population. But Haryana accounted for more than a fourth of the country’s 101 medals in the Commonwealth Games that ended Thursday.

Haryana sent the biggest contingent of 52 sportspersons to the Games from among all states. And they lapped up 28 medals — from India’s record Commonwealth tally of of 101.

These included 15 gold medals — of the 38 gold won by the entire Indian contingent.

“Players from Haryana made an outstanding performance. They have brought laurels to the country and the state. We wish them luck to do even better in coming international events,” said a beaming Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

As the Games were ending, two players from the state, boxers Manoj Kumar and Paramjit Samota (both work for Railways), and Saina Nehwal, who was born in Haryana’s Hisar town but now lives with her family in Hyderabad, brought India back to the second position in the medal tally.

India’s gold haul of 38 pushed England to the third slot in the medals tally. England got 37 gold medals.

Even the Indian hockey team, which won the silver, had four Haryana players.

Shooters Anisa Sayyed (Faridabad) and Harpreet Singh (Karnal) won two gold medals each in shooting events.

Sisters Gita (55 kg) and Babita (51 kg) won a gold and silver medal each in the women wrestling event. Hailing from Bhiwani district, they come from a family of wrestlers.

Another woman wrestler, Anita, won the gold in the 67 kg category.

Four Haryana players won gold in the Greco-Roman style men wrestling.

Discus thrower Krishna Poonia, who broke a 52-year record by getting India’s first gold in an athletics event, was born and brought up in Haryana. She is now married and lives in neighbouring Rajathan.

Poonia and her compatriots, Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil (also from Haryana), won all three medals in the discuss throw event.

“Haryana is a small state with just two per cent of the total population of the country but its players have won 15 gold medals in the CWG. The encouragement to sportspersons by the chief minister has boosted their performance,” Haryana Sports Minister Gopal Kanda said here.

Four players from Haryana, Sandeep Singh, Sardara Singh, Mandeep Singh and Bharat, were part of the silver medal winning hockey team.

Even though gold medal winners Saina Nehwal and Sushil Kumar (wrestling) did not represent Haryana, the Hooda government has given them a cash reward of Rs.2.5 million (25 lakh) each after their good showing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“Saina is the daughter of Haryana while Sushil is a nephew of the state. Both players lived up to the expectations of the people of the state,” an official said.

–Indo-Asia News Service

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