Maharashtra tops medal tally in KIWG, pushes Karnataka to second

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Leh (Ladakh), Feb 6 (PTI) Maharashtra topped the medal tally, pipping Karnataka to second spot as the first part of the Khelo India Winter Games (KIWG) concluded here on Tuesday.

Maharashtra won 20 medals, six of them gold. Karnataka too finished with an identical number of gold but their total medal count was just eight.

Hosts Ladakh, who won a pair of historic Khelo India gold medals in speed skating, finished third with 13 medals.

The second part of the KIWG is scheduled in Gulmarg, J&K from February 21-25. Gulmarg will host four sports disciplines.

On Tuesday, more than 3,000 fans braved icy conditions to watch the two ice-hockey finals. Army won the men's title 3-1 after a shootout, while ITBP clinched the women's gold, defeating Ladakh 4-0.

In the men's final, Army opened the scoring in the ninth minute of the second period through Tsewang Dorjay. Mohammed Ismail equalised for ITBP soon after.

At the end of the third period, the scoreline stood 1-1. Two periods of extra time did not produce a result. In the shootout, Army scored twice to settle the issue.

"Our rivalry with ITBP has been going on for a long time, and today's match was the hardest in the series. We knew it would be exciting, but we were surprised by the huge crowd and the support from the public.

"We know we could have played better, but we're still happy that we came out on top in the end," said Stanzin Phandey, the Army captain.

ITBP women's team captain Tashi Dolker said after the win, "It feels like a historic moment." In the ice-skating competition, 32-year-old Shruti Kotwal of Maharashtra, who trains and competes in the US and was participating in KIWG for the first time, comfortably won both the long-track events (500m and 1000m) in the above-17 years category clocking 1:00.56 and 1:49.25 seconds, respectively.

Shruti holds the national record in the 500m event with a timing of 41.97 seconds.

After hosts Ladakh won the women's short track 1600m relay gold, the long track Ladakh skaters -- Padma Angmo, Insha Fatima and Tasnia Shamim -- made a clean sweep of medals in the under-17 1000m race.

Maharashtra added three long-track skating gold to catch up with Karnataka's six gold and overtake them on cumulative medal count. PTI AM AM PDS PDS

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