Free Press Journal

Air-India, Haryana Sports emerge champs


The victorious Air-India teamThe victorious Air-India team

Panvel: Favourites Air-India fulfilled the expectations of their supporters when they flattened Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) 39-20 in the men’s finals of the Rajeev Gandhi Gold Cup All-India Kabaddi Tournament. Haryana Sports from Jind comprising mostly class XII students bagged the women’s title by registering a facile 34-15 win over Shivshakti from Mumbai.

The winners took home a purse of Rs 2 lakh while the runners-up pocketed Rs 1.5 lakh. The airmen were well served by their three in form internationals Ajay Kumar, Rahul Chaudhary and Pawan Kumar. Backed by a vociferous crowd of about 5 thousand who preferred to watch live action despite the IPL final, the champions got going from the word go to score a ‘lona’ early against the men in uniform to lead 13-6. The gap kept on widening and the half-time score of 25-12 clearly indicated the winner’s supremacy.

On the other hand Wazir Singh the CISF ace came up with some startling moves as he foxed the rival defenders with his deft toe touches and round-house kicks. But realising this Air-India preferred not to trap him but gift him a few bonus points which increased the CISF tally to some extent.

Wazir’s dismissals of Prashant Chavan and Deepak Zanzhot were classic examples of his well-drilled technique. With five minutes left on the clock CISF, threw in the towel with the score reading 37-20.

Haryana Sorts coached by Dharamvir Poonia delivered what they promised. The well trained girls showed immense talent and confidence which they have gained through Yoga practice. Monika Siwach their skipper led from the front with her incisive raids. She had good support from Pooja and Anju with the former excelling in defence.

Shivshakti’s tall raiders Apeksha and Sonali got trapped easily making the task difficult. Having scored two ‘lonas’ and with a lead of 22-10 Haryana had the match literally sewn up at the break. The Mumbai girl’s shoulders drooped thereafter as the deficit kept mounting steadily. Anju and Pooja who were dismissed came back to do the damage.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS: Best Players-Ajay Thakur (A-I),Monica Siwach (Haryana) Best Raiders-Wazir SiNgh (CISF),Apeksha Takale(Shivshakti) Best defender- Gokul Shitole(A-I), Pooja (Haryana). The best players received Rs 25 thusand while the rest got Rs 15 thousand.