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Khelo India Winter Games 2024: Ladakh women skate to historic gold; Army set up ice-hockey final versus ITBP

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Maharashtra added two skating medals but Karnataka lead overall standings on the penultimate day of KIWG

Leh: It was a mixed day for hosts Ladakh on Day 4 of the Khelo India Winter Games 2024 on Monday. While the Union Territory won a first-ever Khelo India gold in the women’s short track 1600m relay at the NDS sports complex in Leh, the men’s ice hockey team went down 4-0 against a powerful ITBP in a semi-final match.

Maharashtra added two more skating golds to take their total tally to three but Karnataka continue to lead the standings with four. Maharashtra’s gold medals on Monday came in the men’s short track (1600m) relay and the mixed short track relay over the same distance. Ladakh won the silver in the mixed-team race.

Maharashtra’s domination in the relays was never in question because their skaters have more silver and bronze medals (13) out of a possible 22. Eleven skating gold medals have been decided in the Games so far.

Ladakh’s historic gold in women’s short track came like a breath of fresh air on another cold day. It’s been snowing overnight but the NDS groundstaff did a good job of preparing the rink for the skating competition. The Ladakh quartet of Skarma Tsultim, Insha Fatima, Tasnia Shamim, and Padma Angmo responded beautifully clocking 3:55.80 to relegate Maharashtra (4:17.12) to the second place by a decent margin.

Mohammad Abbas Nordak, the coach of the Ice Skating Association of Ladakh, said: “My team trained hard in the last year. The gold was unexpected because the girls were up against a team that was more experienced and had seasoned skaters who had trained abroad… my happiness knows no bounds.” Abbas also added that a short track relay has been conducted for the first time in Ladakh.

The centre of attraction on Monday was the men’s ice hockey semifinal between Ladakh and ITBP. Ice hockey is a very popular sport in this region and the NDS complex saw a full house with supporters from both sides cheering their respective teams in what was a hotly contested affair.

But ITBP were the better side with Tsering Angdus, popularly known as Baku, scoring a hattrick for his team. Baku was well assisted by Stanzin Mingure and Mohammed Ismail, who also put his name on the scoresheet.

The win was sweet revenge for ITBP who had lost to Ladakh in the nationals at Kaza recently. Ladakh could have lost by a bigger margin but their teenage goalie Tsewang Namgail defended very well with timely saves.

The match often saw frayed tempers with bodies and sticks clashing on the icy surface. ITBP often played with five players but they were tactically superior and with good zonal marking kept the Ladakh attackers at bay.

The second semifinal between favourites Army and Himachal Pradesh was a rather one-sided affair. Army won 10-2. Konchok Namgail (three) and Rigzin Norboo (two) were the main scorers for the winners. The Army men dominated throughout the game and the early goals completely deflated the Himachal team. The army was methodical and much in control with better strategy and overall territorial supremacy.

In the day’s only round-robin women’s league match, Himachal Pradesh beat Telangana 4-1 with Tanzin Saldon scoring a hattrick.

SKATING RESULTS AT A GLANCE

Women’s short track 1600m relay final:

  1. Skarma Tsultim, Insha Fatima, Tasnia Shamim, Padma Angmo (3:55.80) – Ladakh
  2. Swaralli Deo, Janvi Chordia, Swarupa, Abhisri Jagtap (4:17.12) – Maharashtra
  3. Stuti Dhandhania, Raina, Ruhi Sharma, Riddhi Patel (4:18. 98) – Haryana

Men’s short track (1600m relay final:

  1. Suyog Tapkir, Sumit Tapkir, Aarav Patwardhan, Advay Kothari (3:14.78) – Maharashtra
  2. Noyal Cherian, Sujal Sahu, Yogesh Sharma, Harsh Kasaundhan (3:56.52) – Madhya Pradesh
  3. Sanyam Goyal, Shubhang Munjal, Rohit, Hriday Arora (4:13.48) Haryana

Mix short track (1600m) relay final:

  1. Suyog Tapkir, Aarav Patwardhan, Janvi Chordia, Swarupa Deshmukh (3:26.15 seconds) – Maharashtra
  2. Mohammed Saquaf Raza, Skarma Tsultim, Stanzin Jampal, Tasniya Shamim (3: 41.56) – Ladakh
  3. Noyal Cherian, Yogesh Sharma, Udreka Singh, Avantika Singh (4:11.95 sec) Madhya Pradesh

ICE HOCKEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE

Men’s semifinal 1: ITBP beat UT Ladakh 4-0

Men’s semifinal 2: Army beat Himachal Pradesh xx

Women’s round-robin league: Himachal Pradesh beat Telangana 4-1.

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