National Games: Kerala make an impressive start

Vidya Das in action at National Games. Photo: Manorama

Ahmedabad: Last edition's runners-up Kerala began their 36th National Games campaign on a positive note by bagging five medals including two gold here on Friday.

The two gold medals won by the state came in the roller-skating event. Vidya Das (skateboarding park) and Abhijith Amalraj (artistic free skating) accounted for the yellow metals. Besides, S Vineesh won a bronze in the skateboarding park. Incidentally, roller sports are making their debut in the national games.

In men's triple jump, A B Arun clinched the silver medal with a jump of 16.08 metres. Josna Christy Jose, who won a bronze in the women's individual sabre event, took the state's overall medal tally to five. 

The 14-year-old Vidya is the daughter of the Yesudasan-Rani couple of Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram. Hailing from the fishing community, Vidya was introduced to the sport by SISP, a charitable organisation working in the coastal region in Thiruvananthapuram. She learned the nuances of skateboarding at the Kovalam Skate Club run by the SISP. The 15-year-old Vineesh too is a product of the SISP. Born to Stephanson and Vimala in a fishermen family, he is a class X student of St. Mary's Higher Secondary School in Vizhinjam.

A native of Pramadam in Pathanamthitta district, the 21-year-old Abhijith has been the national champion in artistic free skating for the last eight years. The 21-year-old Abijith, who is also the world champion in the junior category, has recently undergone training in Rome.

Arun, who won the triple jump silver, hails from Kanjiramkulam in Thiruvananthapuram district. Josna, who had to settle for a bronze in the individual sabre event in which Olympian Bhavani Devi won the gold, is a native of Wayanad.

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