Bajrang Lal fetches gold, rowers add three medals
Bajrang Lal Takhar stole the limelight with a historic gold in men's singles scull as Indian rowers notched up three more medals.
Apart from Bajrang Lal's gold, which is first for an Indian rower at the Games, the Indian men's eight team grabbed silver and the women claimed the pair bronze to make it a very fruitful day at the International Rowing Centre here.
The 29-year-old Bajrang Lal, an army man, gave India the second gold in the ongoing Games after Pankaj Advani had clinched the yellow metal in billiards on the second day of competitions.
Takhar led the 2000m race from start to finish and rowed his way to the gold with a few lengths of boats to spare in 7 minutes and 4.78 seconds.
Rajasthan-born Bajrang Lal, who won Asian championship gold last year in Korea and was the pre-event favourite, was followed across the finish line by Chinese Taipei's Wang Ming Hui (7:07.33), who took the silver, and Iraq's Haeider Hamarasheid (7:10.10), who won the bronze.
Later the women's duo of Pratima Puhana and Pramila Minz grabbed the pairs bronze in 7 minutes and 47.50 seconds, well behind gold medal winners China, who crossed the finish line far ahead in 7:22.06.
The rowing event came to an end with the Indian men's eight team clinching the silver, by clocking 5:49.50, way behind hosts China who timed 5:37.44, but well ahead of bronze medal winners Uzbekistan (5:55.96).
Sania enters quarters, Somdev, Karan in pre-quarters
Sania Mirza toppled sixth seed Chinese Shuai Zhang to seal a quarter-final berth in the women's singles while Somdev Devvarman and Karan Rastogi routed their rivals to move to pre-quarterfinals of the men's singles.
Unseeded Sania, a silver medallist at the 2006 Asian Games, scored a 6-2, 6-2 win in the second round at the Aoti Tennis Centre.
Somdev and Rastogi strolled as they demolished their rivals easily.
Seventh seed Rastogi took the court first and crushed Myalikkuli Mamedkuliyev of Turkmenistan 6-0, 6-0 in just 45 minutes.
Second seed Somdev then thrashed Jabor Mohammed Al Mutawa of Qatar with an identical scoreline in just 37 minutes.
In the men's doubles matches later, Somdev combined with Sanam Singh to beat Johnny Arcilla and Ruben Gonzales of Philippines 6-4, 6-2 and advance to the quarter-finals.
Rastogi was not lucky when he took court for the second time as he and Vishnu Vardhan withdrew from their match against Jun Young Kim and Min Jae Seol of South Korea.
After splitting the first two sets, the South Koreans were leading 1-0 when the Indian pair opted out of the match.
Indian men spank Uzbekistan 4-0 in Chess
Grandmaster P Harikrishna pulled off an upset win over Rustam Kasimdzhanov to lead India to a 4-0 drubbing of Uzbekistan and jump to the top of the table after the second round in the men's chess team competition.
Harikrishna stunned higher-rated Kasimdzhanov in the first match of the day between the two countries before top-ranked Indian Krishnan Sasikiran beat Filippov Anton in the second game.
Surya Sekhar Ganguly then continued the good work of the Indians by beating Alexei Barsov before G N Gopal made it 4-0 with a win over lower-rated Khamrakulov Dzhurabek.
The Indian team is now on sole lead with 7.5 points, ahead of Vietnam (seven points).
In the women's team event also, India defeated Uzbekistan 2.5-1.5 with a win and three draws to occupy third position with six points behind joint leaders China and Vietnam who are on seven points.
Woman Grandmaster Nisha Mohota scored full points against lower-rated Nodira Nodirjanova while Harika Dronavalli, Eesha Karavade and Meenakshi Subbaramiam could not force a win against lower-rated opponents.
Harika drew with Nafisa Muminova while Eesha and Meenakshi split points with Olga Sabirova and Hamrakulova Yulduz respectively.
Ghosal enters semi-finals
Ace racqueter Saurav Ghosal kept the Indian hopes alive by progressing into the semi-finals of the men's singles squash event, even as the women players Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal bow out of the medal contention at the Asian Games.
Doha Asian Games bronze medallist and world ranked 25th Ghosal defeated countrymate Siddharth Suchde 3-0 in the quarter-final here at the Town Gymnasium's centre court.
The 25-year-old overwhelmed world ranked 73rd Suchde 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in 44 minutes to book his berth into the last-four stage.
In the women's singles, Chennai girls Pallikal and Chinappa fought their hearts out but eventually ran out of steam against top-ranked Malaysian rivals to bow out of the individual competition.
Chinappa, ranked 37th in the world, gave a real scare to third seeded Malaysian Low Wee Wern, ranked 16th globally, by claiming the first two sets but the latter fought back to grab the remaining three and edge past the Indian 3-2 in their quarterfinal clash.
Wern won the 61-minute battle 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 to enter the semi-finals.
Pallikal, ranked 36th in the world, also gave a good account of herself against world number one and top-seed Nicol David of Malaysia by taking a set off the title-favourite before being beaten 3-1.
The Indian lost the 38-minute quarter-final encounter 8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 4-11.
Advani bows out of snooker singles event
Pankaj Advani's hopes of winning another medal at the Asian Games were cut short by China's Junhui Ding but Aditya Mehta kept the Indian challenge alive by advancing into the quarter-finals of the snooker singles event at the Town Gymnasium.
Advani failed to replicate his gold-winning performance in billiards and lost 1-4 to top-seed Junhui in the pre-quarterfinals of the individual event.
Advani, the last edition's gold medallist in the Billiards singles, lost tamely to Junhui 11-100, 86-0, 1-84, 0-88, 7-88 to bow out of medal contention.
Deepika qualifies for second stage
Teenage archer Deepika Kumari led the Indian women's archery team into the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian Games competition with a creditable display, which also helped her qualify for the next round along with another budding youngster Rimil Buriuly.
While more fancied compatriots Dola Banerjee and Laishram Bombayla Devi put up a flop show on Friday.
Jamshedpur-based Deepika, who was the best Indian archer in the Commonwealth Games with a gold medal to her credit, entered the second stage by finishing seventh after shooting 1329.
Rimil stood 17th amongst 52 archers with 1298, but former world champion Dola and Bombayla exited after ending up at a distant 28th and 29th with 1270 and 1264 points respectively.
Dola will continue to be part of the team, which will take on Vietnam for a place in quarterfinals on Saturday.
Women archers finish fifth
The Indian women failed to impress on the opening day of the archery competition in the 16th Asian Games.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist and India's best bet for a medal, Deepika Kumari finished seventh overall with a total of 1329 points after the FITA round qualification for women in recurve division.
The 17-year-old Ranchi girl was the only Indian to go past the 1300 mark.
Rimil Buriuly, who missed the Delhi Games selection narrowly, was the second best Indian to qualify, at 18th position with a total of 1298, Laishram Bombayla Devi was 28th with 1270 and veteran Dola Banerjee was 29th with 1264.
Had Dola been on target, India could have finished much higher.
Indian women crush Thailand 13-0 in hockey
Captain Surinder Kaur pumped in four goals to power India to a thumping 13-0 victory over minnows Thailand in the Asian Games women's hockey round robin league to keep themselves in the reckoning for a bronze medal IN Guangzhou.
India, who were tied on points with Kazakhstan going into the must-win match, improved their chances by logging three points from their second victory in four matches to boost their tally to six and in fourth position.
The other goal-scorers for India in the one-sided match, in which they were 7-0 up at half time, were Rani Rampal (3) and Subhadra Pradhan (2) while Chanchan Devi, Anjum Saba, Poonam Rani and Joydeep Kaur scored once each.
All but five of the goals came from the field, while the set-pieces were converted by Subadhra (2 penalty corner), Rani Rampal (penalty corner), Joyddeep (penalty corner) and Surinder Kaur (penalty stroke).
Dinesh assured of medal, Vikas also wins
Commonwealth champion Dinesh Kumar became the second Indian boxer to assure himself of a medal at the Asian Games by advancing to the light heavyweight 81kg semi-finals after out-punching Korean Jinho Heo.
The 23-year-old beat his rival 10-6 in a lopsided bout during which Heo went off-balance several times due to the sheer power of the blows thrown by the Indian.
Paramjeet Samota was the first Indian to assure himself of a bronze by reaching the semifinals of 91+ weight category.
In the other Indian bout, 18-year-old Vikas Krishan (60kg) too inched closer to the medal round, advancing to the quarter-finals with an 8-1 triumph over Amangeldi Hudaybergenov of Turkmenistan.
Vikas will now take on North Korea's Kim Chol Song who defeated Abdulla Mohammed 7-5 in his pre-quarterfinal bout.
India trap team wins bronze
India's veteran shooting trio of Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Mansher Singh and Zoravar Singh Sandhu managed to edge out hosts China by one point for the team bronze medal in the two-day Asian Games men's trap event that concluded on Friday.
The Indian trap members logged 341 points, with Asian record holder Manavjit leading the way, which enabled them to finish one point ahead of China (340).
The gold medal went to Kuwait (352) who edged out Lebanon (351).
But none of the threesome won an individual medal, including Asian record holder Manavjit, who stormed his way back from eighth to third position and qualified for the final only to finish fifth with an aggregate of 136, including 119 in the qualifying round.
Manavjit's qualification sequence was 23, 24, 23, 24 and 25 and he shot 17 in the final.
Mansher secured 113 points (22, 23, 22, 24, 22) to finish a poor 17th from 37 starters while Zoravar was even more pathetic, ending a distant 28th with qualifying score of 109.
He commenced with a very modest 19 before improving to log 22, 23 and 24 before going off the boil again with his last shot which was a 21.
The first bronze from the shot gun events took India's meager tally from shooting to six, made up of three silver and as many bronze medals.
Geeta, Sarabjit finish last
India ended their miserable campaign in the weightlifting competition with Geeta Rani and Sarabjit Singh coming a cropper in the women's +75kg and men's +105kg events.
Geeta produced a below-par performance as she lifted 227kg (95+132) to finish last among six lifters in her weight category. She had lifted 235kg (100+135) in last month's Commonwealth Games in which she had finished fourth.
In men's +105kg category also, India's Sarabjit Singh brought up the rear finishing 10th out of 11 lifters in the fray.
National record holder Sarabjit had a total lift of 340kg (160+180), 100 kilograms less than the gold winner and world champion Iranian Behdadof Salimikordasiabi who had an effort of 440kg (205+235).
Sarabjit's effort was more than 30kg less than his national record of 372kg.
Three more Taekwondo players bow out
The poor run of India's Taekwondo players continued at the Asian Games as all the three fighters in the reckoning -- Surendra Bhandari, Chandan Lakra and Srishit Singh -- crashed out of their respective events.
Bhandari was first to suffer defeat when he lost his opening round 7-8 in the men's 63kg category to Kazakhstan's Darkhan Kassymkulov.
Lakra then raised hopes of winning a medal in men's 68 kg category by winning his first round bout but fizzled out in the quarter-finals.
Lakra beat Malaysia's Omar Sidek Mohd Afifudin 6-2 but then lost to Mongolia's Naranchimeg Erdenebaatar 7-19 in the last-eight stage.
A lot was expected from Srishti Singh in the women's Under 62kg category as a win in quarter-finals would have assured her a bronze but she lost 5-7 to Jordan's Shaden Thweib.
On Thursday four Indian Taekwondo players had failed to reach medal rounds after good starts.
Now India's hopes are on Sunil Kumar in the men's 54 kg and Kamineni Srilakshmi in the women's over 73 kg category.
India beat Japan in five-set thriller in volleyball
India defeated Japan in a thrilling five setter in the men's volleyball pre-quarterfinal league. India beat Japan 25-20, 25-19, 21-25, 26-28, 15-13 in a contest which lasted one hour and 56 minutes.
For India, Pradeep Guttikonda scored the maximum 16 points while Sanjay Banwari and Sube Singh contributed 14 and 13 points respectively.
India play Qatar in their second pre-quarterfinal league match on Saturday.