India’s overall medal tally at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has increased to 21 with ace pistol shooter Heena Sidhu winning gold in the women’s 25m pistol (Precision/Rapid) finals and para-powerlifter Sachin Chaudhary claiming bronze in the men’s heavyweight final on Tuesday (day 6).
At least five more medals have been assured for India later this week, with boxers Amit Phangal, Naman Tanwar, Mohammed Hussamuddin, Manoj Kumar and Satish Kumar having advanced into their respective semi-finals scheduled for April 13 and the men’s and women’s hockey teams also reaching the semis.
Surat boy and his partner win gold
Surat nboy 24-year-old Harmeet Desai won a gold for India in the table tennis men’s doubles match with his partner G Sathiyan, defeating the Nigerian team in the Commonwealth Games on Monday, visitors swarmed his Surat home to congratulate his family. “We saw match with crossed fingers. When Harmeet and his teammate won, we jumped from our seats, unable to control our excitement,” Harmeet’s father Rajubhai Desai said.
At the Belmont Shooting Centre, Heena, 28, dominated her finals with a Games record total of 38. This was the second medal of the Gold Coast Games for Heena after she claimed silver in the 10m air pistol event on Sunday. Overall, India’s shooting contingent have won eight medals in Australia.
India's second medal of the day, and first from the country’s para-athletic contingent at the Commonwealth Games, came from para-powerlifter Chaudhary at the Carrara Sports Arena 1. On a day where three other Indian para-powerlifters reached finals, Chaudhary went the distance in his 10-man final and finished with a combined effort of 181. Winning gold was Nigeria’s Abdulazeez Ibrahim and silver went to Malaysia’s Yee Khie Jong.
In the men’s 46-49kg boxing quarter-finals, Amit defeated Scotland’s Aqeel Ahmed 4-1 to advance. Tanwar won his 91kg quarter-final against Samoa’s Fans Masoe 5-0 to progress as well, and later in the day Hussamuddin defeated his 56kg opponent 5-0 before Manoj won 4-1 in his 69kg quarter-final.
After playing out a 2-2 draw with Pakistan in their opening encounter, the men's hockey team beat Wales 4-3 and with a close victory over Malaysia on Tuesday, the 2014 silver medalists have made it to the final four with one group game (vs England) remaining. India opened their account as early as the third minute when Harmanpreet Singh found the net with his drag flick. Malaysia fought back well and equaliser in the second quarter via Faizal Saari’s field goal. India's midfield had a good day, constantly putting the Malaysian defence under pressure, but the forwards lacked the finishing touch. India managed to force seven penalty corners but could only convert two - the second being the winner from Harmanpreet in the 43rd minute.
A few hours later, the women’s team eliminated South Africa with a 1-0 win in which the skipper Rani Rampaul scored the goal as the fourth quarter got underway. India’s splendid work in the match - which they needed to draw to progress - was highlighted by some excellent work from the defenders and goalkeeper Savita Punia. Though they lost Lalremsiami with a yellow card with 6:46 on the clock, India did well to keep the advantage until full time.
The two Indians who qualified for the 50m rifle prone men’s finals were both eliminated from the medals race. Gagan Narang, an 11-time CWG medalist, had reached the final with a qualification total of 617, but in the eight-man final was the second shooter to be eliminated. Narang, who won a shooting bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, shot a total of 142.3 in the final.
In squash, the women’s doubles pair of Joshna Chinnappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik beat Pakistan’s Faiza and Madina Zafar 2-1, after which Dipika teamed up with Saurav Ghosal in the mixed doubles event to beat Guyana’s Mary Fung-a-Fat and Jason-Ray Khalil 2-0. India's another mixed doubles duo Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Sandhu got the better of Caroline Laing and Jacob Kelly of Cayman Islands 2-0 in Pool H match.
In lawn bowls, India’s Krishna Xalxo beat Fiji’s Arun Kumar 21-11 in the men's singles Section A - Round 3 while the women's pair of Lovely Choubey and Rupa Rani Tireky got the better of Jersey’s Rachel MacDonald and Christine Grimes 22-12. In men's fours, India defeated Botswana 16-9 in Round 2 match.
India sweep TT team event
India swept the table tennis team events as the men matched the women to claim a memorable gold with an emphatic 3-0 win over Nigeria on Monday. It is the first time that India has topped both categories. After Manika Batra-led India to a historic triumph over Singapore on Sunday, the men too beat the team from the city state 3-2 in the semifinals, played earlier on Monday. With individual and doubles medals still on offer, India’s performance is already a marked improvement from its disappointing show in Glasgow four years ago when it just managed a silver in men’s doubles.
On day 5, in shooting, Jitu Rai won gold in the men’s 10m air pistol followed by bronze for Om Mitharval, and then came silver to teenager Mehuli Ghosh in the final of the women’s 10m air rifle event where defending champion Apurvi Chandela settled for bronze. In weightlifting, Pardeep Singh claimed silver in the 105kg final.
At the Belmont Shooting Centre, Jitu - a CWG gold medalist four years ago in Glasgow - shot a Games record total of 235.1 after entering the eight-man final at fifth place in qualifying. Coming in at third place after silver medalist Kerry Bell of Australia (233.5) was Mitharwal with 214.3.
At the Carrara Sports Arena 1, weightlifter Pardeep, aged 22, lifted a total of 352kg (152 in snatch and 200 in clean & jerk) to take silver behind Samoan Sanela Mao who won gold with a total effort of 360kg (154 + 206). This was the ninth medal for India’s weightlifting contingent.
Teen shooter Manu sets Games record
India's shooting sensation Manu Bhaker continued to wow Indian sports fans with her stunning prowess when she set two new Games record in women's 10m air pistol on Sunday. Firing away to glory from the start at Brisbane's Belmont Shooting Centre, Manu first snatched the qualification record, 386 set by Dina Aspandiyarova of Australia back in 2006, with a tally of 388 and then set the final record en route to winning the gold by an unbelievable margin of 6.9 points.
Later in the day, Ravi Kumar added a bronze medal winning a shoot-off against Australian Alex Hoburg in the 10m air rifle. Both the shooters were tied on 204.6 points after 20 shots in the final but Ravi prevailed in shoot off to climb the podium.
Weightlifter Venkat Rahul Ragala wins gold
Venkat Rahul Ragala extended India's medal-hunting run in the weightlifting competitions as he clinched the gold medal in the men's 85kg category. Venkat lifted a total of 338 kg - 151 kg in snatch and 187 in clean and jerk - to bring maiden gold medal for India in this weight category. Weightlifter Sathish Kumar Sivalingam won gold in the men's 77kg event .
Indian weightlifter Sanjita Chanu won gold in the women's 53 kilogram category. The Manipuri star lifted a total of 192 kg which included a CWG record of 84 kg in the snatch and 108 kg in clean and jerk.
This was India's second gold . Fellow Manipuri weightlifter Mirabai Chanu had won gold with spectacular record breaking attempts in the women's 48 kg earlier.