Mumbai: Tamil Nadu and Kerala won three medals each and dominated the volleyball competition as the two teams from southern India shared the spoils in the Under-21 category on the final day of the Khelo India Youth Games at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu won the girls’ U-21 final, while Kerala took gold in the boys’ U-21 category.
In the girls’ final, Tamil Nadu made a stunning comeback to win gold after losing the first two games to Kerala, who got off to a strong start and had cruised to a 25-23, 25-11 lead.
Tamil Nadu turned things around with a 25-23 win in a tight third set. They followed that up with an equally strong performance to finally prevail 23-25, 11-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-9 just within two hours.
The boys’ U-21 final saw favourites Kerala overcome Tamil Nadu in a tense four-set battle to stay unbeaten en route to the gold. Tamil Nadu made a good start to win the first set 25-21 and it was the first set that Kerala had dropped in the tournament.
Kerala were quick to make a comeback as they never let their guard down thereafter despite strong resistance from Tamil Nadu to eventually win 21-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-20.
In the girls’ U-17 final, West Bengal denied Maharashtra a medal, beating the hosts.
After having beaten them previously in the girls’ U-21 bronze medal match a day earlier, West Bengal dominated the U-17 final against Maharashtra from start to win 25-15, 25-13, 25-14.
In the boys’ U-17 category, Uttar Pradesh registered a comfortable 25-17, 25-20, 25-23 victory over Gujarat to win gold. This was their second medal after the victory over Punjab for bronze in the boys’ U-21 category.