Boxers Ankit Narwal, Vanshaj and Preeti Dahiya played a key role for Haryana who reaped as many as eight gold, eight silver and 15 bronze medals from boxing in the Boys' Under-17 and Girls Under-17 categories at the at the Khelo India Youth Games (KISG) here on Friday.
Hosts Maharashtra were close behind, winning five gold while Manipur girls marked their presence by winning two gold. Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab, Karnataka and Rajasthan won one gold medal each.
The girls of Maharashtra -- Devika Ghorpade and Mitika Gunele -- who both have a great interest in dancing too, won a gold medal each in their respective categories. Devika playing in 46kg class edged out Haryana girl Tamanna 3-2.
Meanwhile, Mitika, who was gold medallist at the KISG last year, defended her title in the 66kg class. Effectively using her raw power in a combination of punches and jabs, Mitika outshined Muskan from Haryana. The coaches and Haryana supporters were repeatedly urging Muskan to go all out, but the Haryana girl proves no match to 7th Nation Cup gold medallist Mitika.
Haryana's Vanshaj and Ankit Narwal overcame stiff resistance from Maharashtra pugilists in the final. Vanshaj faced lanky Akash Gorkha in the 57kg class, while Ankit was challenged by Laisharam Singh.
Vanshaj played a clever and despite being at a height disadvantage against his opponent, he managed to gather valuable points in the third round.