Reliance Foundation Athletes shine at National Games 2022

Several promising athletes from Reliance Foundation and Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Center (HPC) won medals for their respective states at the National Games 2022 held in the state of Gujarat.

National Record holder Amlan Borgohain, who is from the Odisha RF HPC, clinched gold for Assam in the 100m event as he finished the sprint in 10.38s. Borgohain pipped Tamil Nadu’s Elakiyadsasan VK (10.44s) and his teammate Siva Kumar B (10.48s) to emerge as the fastest man in the country. The Assamese youngster’s national record in the 100m event stands at 10.25s.

The 24-year-old Borgohain bagged gold in the 200m event as well, completing the race in 20.55s while clocking the second fastest time of his career. Interestingly, Borgohain is also the national record holder in the 200m, and he fell short of that record-breaking timing by just 3 milliseconds in Gujarat.

Just like Borgohain, Jyothi Yarraji, another Odisha RF HPC athlete, stole the limelight as she emerged as the fastest woman in the country.

Representing Andhra Pradesh, Jyothi Yarraji pulled off a massive upset as she beat the likes of Odisha’s Dutee Chand and Hima Das of Assam to win gold in the women’s 100m dash. Yarraji completed the race in 11.51s while Tamil Nadu’s Archana Suseendran bagged silver (11.55s) and Diandra Valladares of Maharashtra clinched bronze (11.62s).

Yarraji also broke her own national record in the 100m hurdles as she clocked 12.79s to secure her second gold medal at the 36th National Games. But the record did not count as the tailwind was above the allowed wind speed. The 23-year-old, nevertheless, has emerged as one of India’s brightest hurdlers, becoming the first female to go under the 13-second mark.

Odisha RF HPC athletes Moumita Mondal and Pragyan Sahu missed out on a medal by a whisker as the duo finished fourth in 100m and 400m hurdles, respectively.

Under RF Ooty Endurance Program, Mohammed Afsal bagged gold in the men’s 800m event. The 26-year-old two-time national champion from Kerala completed the race in 01:46.30 to record his personal best. On the other hand, Sawan Barwal clinched bronze in the 5000m event under the same program. The 24-year-old athlete, representing Services, clocked 14:10.53 to also register his personal best.

Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain from Assam shone once again, grabbing top honors in the women’s middleweight division. The 25-year-old, who is a Reliance Foundation Scholarship athlete, outpunched Haryana’s Saweety by unanimous decision to win the gold medal.

In other events, Karnataka’s Tilottama Sen won silver in the women's 10m air rifle while Commonwealth Games gold medallist Achinta Sheuli claimed silver in weightlifting at National Games 2022. Furthermore, star paddler Manika Batra bagged bronze in women’s singles event. Tilottama, Achinta and Manika are supported under Reliance Foundation Elite Program.

Meanwhile, in women’s singles badminton, Uttarakhand’s Aditi Bhatt, supported under the RF Elite program, bagged the bronze medal. The 19-year-old was ousted by top-seed Malvika Bansod of Maharashtra in a three-game nail-biter in the semi-finals.

It was an incredible campaign for Odisha RF HPC and RF Athletes at the National Games 2022, as they delivered excellent performances to cap off the event with a total of 10 medals (five gold, two silver and three bronze).

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