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Karnataka reigns supreme

By Our Special Correspondent

The Karnataka team, which clinched the overall team title in the National senior taekwondo championship in Bangalore on Tuesday.

BANGALORE Nov. 25. Karnataka retained the overall title with 116 points in the 22nd senior National taekwondo championship which concluded at the Sree Kanteerava stadium here today. The host won the men's team championship title with 62 points and the women's team title with 54 points. On the final day Karnataka bagged two more golds, two silver and three bronzes.

While the host hogged the limelight, there were couple of good performances from Surendra Bhandari of Uttranchal and K. Srilaxmi of Andhra Pradesh in the men's and women's sections respectively. Bhandari, came up with what was easily the best technical display, to outwit Shivkumar of Punjab 6-0. Bhandari, who represented the country in the last Asiad at Busan, was superb with his timing and speed and unleashed some powerful roundhouse and back kicks to subdue his rival in the flyweight final bout.

Similalry, Srilaxmi, another international, proved too good for her CRPF rival Somorani winning 6-2 in the women's heavyweight final The fight was even at the end of the first round, with both level at 2-2, but Srilaxmi opened up in the second round and caught her rival napping with well judged kicks time and again to surge ahead for the gold.

Karnataka's Hari Pyari Devi won a close verdict (7-5) against Megha Bhist of Delhi in the women's welterweight category and Mohammad Imran brought down the curtains on the championship on a winning note for Karnataka by beating Sandeep Kumar of Punjab 5-3 in the feather weight final.

The day's first final also saw an interesting contest, in which Seema Deswal of Haryana, used her good height to a telling effect, delivering some hard hit face kicks to beat her rival Sarika in the women's flyweight final.

Karnataka was in with a chance in the featherweight section also but Shanthibala Devi of Manipur scuttled it, with a well-deserved 7-3 win over Aditi Bajaj. Gaurav Singh of Uttar Pradesh and K.S. Gurjar of Services, picked the remaining two golds of the day in the men's bantamweight and welterweight classes respectively.

The results (final placings):

Men: Flyweight: 1. Surendra Bhandari (Utchl 6) ; 2. Shiv Kumar (Pnb 0) ; 3. N. Manju Naik (Kar) and Khemraj Pant (UP).

Bantamweight: 1. Gaurav Singh (UP 8) ; 2. S.C. Sharma (Services 6); 3. Kh. Nanao (Manipur) and Pankaj Dhir (Kar).

Featherweight: Mohammad Imran (Kar 5) ; 2. Sandeep Kumar (Pnb 3) ; 3. M.J. Chaudhry (Mah) and Sandeep Kumar Ahlawat (Har).

Welterweight: 1. K.S. Gurjar (Services 3) ; 2. Ram Niwas (Har 0) ; 3. B.P. Kiran (Kar) and C.Y. Jawale (Mah).

Women: Flyweight: 1. Seema Deswal (Har 5) ; 2. Sarika (Del 3) ; 3. Lalhmingsangi (Mizo) and Bharti Kumari (Bih).

Featherweight: 1.Shanthibala Devi (Manipur 7); 2. Aditi Bajaj (Kar 3); 3. Manisha (Har) and P. Rekha Bhgwan (Mah).

Welterweight: 1. A. Hari Pyari Devi (Kar 7); 2. Megha Bhist (Del 5); 3. R.K. Daina Devi (Manipur) and Rashmi Chouhan (MP).

Heavyweight: 1. K. Srilaxmi (AP 6); 2. M. Somorani Devi (CRPF 2); 3. Sharmisha Singh (WB) and G. Malini (Kar).

Team placings: Men: Karnataka 62 pts.; 2. Services 41; 3. Punjab 39. Women: 1. Karnataka 54; 2. CRPF 38; 3. Haryana 35. Overall champion: Karnataka 116 . Runner-up: Haryana 59.

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