In his sixth and final attempt, Tamil Nadu's S Saran leaped a mammoth 7.41m to claim the gold medal in the boys U-21 long jump event of the Khelo India Youth Games here on Monday.
Trailing in the third position after his first five jumps, way behind Haryana's Bhupender Singh (7.30m) and Kerala's R Sajan (7.29m), he stunned the field with his gravity-defying jump for a sensational finish to the event.
"I was a bit rusty to start off, but I managed a decent 7.11m in my second jump," an elated Saran said.
"But then, I lost my rhythm and struggled in the next four rounds." "As I prepared for my last jump, I somehow could only think of the gold medal. I calmed myself down and executed the jump to perfection. I am really happy to have won for my state," the lanky jumper said.
Saran knew what he was up against after the second set of jumps. Bhupender Singh cleared 7.30m to emerge as the hot favourite. He neared that mark in each of his next jumps to underline his supremacy.
Meanwhile, Haryana scooped as many as 12 gold to surge past Maharashtra to the top of the medal table.
Pumped up by four gold in kabaddi, three each in archery and athletics and one each in cycling and gymnastics, Haryana amassed 17 gold after Day 4 to catapult from sixth to top spot.
Maharashtra picked up only four gold on Monday for a total of 16 to slip to the second position. It has a total of 71 medals.
"The aim now is to win every competition I compete in and to obviously improve on my personal best," Saran said.
"I think Saran was a bit under par today. He came in a bit raw as he had trained for only a couple of weeks for this competition," Tamil Nadu coach Indhra Saran said of his ward.