Tamil Nadu bagged its second National Games gold, defeating Kerala 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 in the men's volleyball final at the Haribansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
There were moments in the match when Kerala had the upper hand and the contest seemed to be moving away from Tamil Nadu, with Tom Joseph's spiking and Rajeev's block being on target.
Tamil Nadu found saviours in the form of blocker Pradeep and attacker Karthikeyan. Their conversion rate at the net was exceptionally high. Especially in the second and fourth sets, Pradeep's finishes gave TN half-a-dozen points. Karthikeyan was equally proficient in attack and block.
For Kerala, Aziz couldn't get enough time on court, while Raghesh made far too many unforced errors towards the end. “It was a great team effort. For me, Karthikeyan and Pradeep were game-changers. Our first pass and attack were really good,” said A. Venkatesan, Tamil Nadu coach.
The last time a Tamil Nadu men's volleyball team won gold in the National Games was in the 2001 edition in Ludhiana.
Kerala eves triumph
Kerala claimed its fifth women's volleyball title in the Games, scripting a 25-16, 25-21, 25-11 win over West Bengal in the final.
A superior team in all aspects, Kerala displayed its skill in ample measure in front of a sizeable audience.
Comprising seven players from the current Indian team, Kerala was always going to be difficult to beat. The Bengal team did put up a stiff fight, but crumbled under the sustained onslaught by Kerala.
Briefly in the second set, Bengal showed signs of a revival, taking a 16-13 lead with effective double blocks and spiking by Ramya and The results:
Volleyball (finals): Men: TN bt Kerala 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19.
Women: Kerala bt WB 25-16, 25-21, 25-11.
Badminton (semifinals): Men: Kerala bt TN 3-0; AP bt MP 3-0; Women: AP bt WB 2-0; Kerala bt Maharashtra 2-1.
Hockey (preliminaries): Men: Punjab bt Maharashtra 3-2; Women: Orissa bt Delhi 9-0; Jharkhand bt Uttar Pradesh 9-0.
Keywords: National Games