WB’s Pranati Nayak and Tripura’s Protishta win 2 gold each

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Olympian Pranati Nayak picked up two gold medals before signing off from the 36th National Games at the Sama Indoor Sports Complex here on Sunday.

The West Bengal gymnast collected her first gold in the morning, the Uneven Bars title, and rounded it off by clinching the Floor Exercise crown in the evening.

“Yes, it was on this same apparatus (uneven bars) that I got injured on Saturday and missed on the gold yesterday. But today, I was not going to make the same mistake and I have won it back from you,” Pranati Nayak said tongue in cheek, looking at her state mate Pranati Das who was standing next to her.

“I was desperate to win gold as even though I had picked up a good haul in the last edition I hadn’t won a single one of them,” the pint-size athlete pointed out.

Earlier in the day, Tripura gymnast Protishta Samanta also won two gold, Artistic Vaulting and Balancing Beam. It was an advance birthday gift for herself as she celebrates her 20th birthday next week (13th of October).

“Oh, I have almost forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me,” she responded with a smile.

Protishta, born and brought up in West Bengal, had shifted her base to Tripura in 2019 to don the tiny state’s colours. The only daughter of a technician at the Railway Coach Factory, Protishta picked up the sport from her neighbour’s daughter who used to practice gymnastics. She was just three years old then.

Since then, she has been among the medals for West Bengal in junior meets. This is her first year in seniors. “I owe these medals to my parents who have been very supportive, especially my mother,” the first-year BA student from Agartala College said.

And as she heads off for the camp ahead of the World Championship to be held on October 29 in Liverpool, England, she added, that these medals were very special and would find a notable position in her showcase.

Meanwhile, Services Board Control Board’s Gaurav Kumar has been in good nick too, picking up three gold and a bronze.

“I wanted to have five, but could not make it. I am happy I have won three. I have never missed the podium in any of the five events that I have taken part,” said Gaurav Kumar.

Siddharth Verma won the gold in Pommel Horse while Harikrishnan JS Kerala and Abhijeet Kumar of SSCB took the silver and bronze, respectively.

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