India at CWG: Lifters add two gold; Sarita in QFs, draw for men's hockey
AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 7th Apr: Indian weightlifters continued their golden run at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and added two more gold medals on Day 3 of the competition in Gold Coast on Saturday. India now have won four gold, one silver and one bronze, all coming through the lifters.
India began their Day 3 campaign with weightlifter Sathish Kumar Sivalingam winning gold in the men's 77kg event. Sathish, who had also won a gold four years ago is Glasgow, lifted a combined effort of 317kg, to become the first male Indian weightlifter to bag back-to-back gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
And later in the day, Ragala Venkat Rahul handed India their fourth gold medal by lifting a total weight of 338kg (151+187) in the men's 85kg weightlifting event. His second lift of 187kg in clean & jerk took him to a total weight of 338kg that remained his best as he faltered in the final attempt of 191kg. Luck went in Rahul's favour, with silver medalist Don Opeloge of Samoa failing to lift 191kg in his third and final attempt to help the Indian clinched the top honour.
In the women’s 63kg event, weightlifter Vandna Gupta finished fifth with a combined effort of 180 (80 in snatch and 100 in clean & jerk).
The Indian men's hockey team conceded a goal in the dying minutes and drew their CWG 2018 opener against Pakistan 2-2. With India leading 2-1, Pakistan scored from the set-piece in the 59th minute to salvage a thrilling draw.
India struck in the 12th minute through a field goal from young Dilpreet Singh and later doubled their lead when Harmanpreet Singh successfully converted a penalty corner. Pakistan pulled one back in the third quarter as Mohammad Irfan Jr. snuck one past PR Sreejesh. India managed to hold their nerves even as their opponents kept attacking in the final two minutes. The last piece of attack came from Ali Mubashar after the TV umpire awarded Pakistan a controversial PC. Mubashar's low flick flew past a diving Sreejesh as the Pakistan dug out broke into wild celebrations.
Kicking off the day, the Indian paddlers had another formidable outing against Malaysia. Both men's and women's team dished out a 3-0 thrashing to their respective opponents and booked themselves each a place in the semifinals. In the women's team quarterfinal, Manika Batra and Madhurika Patkar notched up individual wins over Ying Ho and Karen Lyne, whom they beat 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 and 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-3. Patkar and Mouma Das picked up the bones and beat Ho and Ai Xin Tee 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7.
The act was followed perfectly by the men during their quarterfinal matches. Harmeet Desai started off well against Chee Feng Leong, getting the better of him 11-4, 12-10, 11-6. Achanta Sharath also registered a win over Muhammad Ashraf Haiq 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 to give India a 2-0 lead before Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran completed the sweep with a 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 win over Javen Choong and Chee Feng Leong in men’s doubles.
It was then up to the Indian shuttlers to continue India's good work. And they did exactly that against Malaysia in the mixed team quarterfinals, beating them 3-0 to make the semifinals. The men's doubles team of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Chandrashekhar Shetty beat Aatish Lubah and Christopher Jean Paul 21-12, 21-3. The women's doubles team didn't lag behind either with Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy registering a rather comfortable 21-8, 21-7 win over Aurelie Marie Elisa Allet and Nicki Chan-Lam. Kidambi Srikanth completed the rout and defeated Georges Julien Paul 21-12, 21-14.
In boxing, Sarita Devi, silver medallist at Glasgow Games from four years ago, progressed to the quarterfinal of the women's 60kg by absolutely dominating her opponent. Sarita won by a unanimous verdict of 30-25 across all board as she pummeled Barbados' Kimberly Gittens. Male boxers Mohammed Hussamuddin and Manoj Kumar also progressed to the last-eight stage with comfortable wins. In Round of 16 bouts, Mohammed Hussamuddin defeated Boe Warawara of Vanuatu in men's 56kg category, whereas Manoj Kumar outclassed Kassim Mbundwike of Tanzania in men's 69kg.
In swimming, India's Srihari Nataraj qualified for the next phase by finishing third in men's 50m backstroke during the first Heat. Meanwhile, Sajan Prakash bettered his own national record of 1:59.10, with a new timing of 1:58.87 in the men's 200m butterfly but finished eighth in the final finishing with 1:59:05. Later, Nataraj managed fifth-place finish with a timing of 26.50s in the men's 50m backstroke semifinal and failed to go further.
There was disappointment at the Artistic Gymnastics event, where India's Yogeshwar Singh finished 14th in men's individual all-around final, and Aruna Budda Reddy and Pranati Das secured the 14th and 16th place respectively in the women's category.
In the cyling track men's sprint qualifying event, India's Sanuraj Sanandaraj, Ranjit Singh and Sahil Kumar finished 20th, 21st and 22nd, while Manjeet Singh finished 13th in the men's 15km scratch race qualifying. In women's 500m time trial final, Deborah clocked 36.176s to finish 13th, while Aleena Reji finished 14th with 36.308s timing.
In Lawn bowls, India beat South Africa in men's triples sectional play 18-17. In women's singles sectional play, Pinki defeated Pauline Blumsky of Niue 21-9.