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Rediff.com  » Sports » Somdev provides India with gold in doubles with Sanam

Somdev provides India with gold in doubles with Sanam

Last updated on: November 22, 2010 21:01 IST

Somdev provides India with gold in doubles with Sanam

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Somdev Devvarman played tirelessly to provide India with a gold in the men's doubles with Sanam Singh by stepping on the tennis court barely an hour and a half after cruising into the singles final with hard-fought three-set win in the Asian Games at Guangzhou on Monday.     

Somdev and Sanam secured India's third successive men's doubles crown with an energy-sapping 6-3, 6-7 (4), 10-8 victory in the final against crowd favourites and second seeds Gong Maoxin and Li Zhe of China on the centre court at the Aoti Tennis Centre.

Earlier, Somdev - seeded second - had battled his way past Japan's fourth seed, the hard-hitting Tatsmo Ito 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 in the men's semifinal to line up a meeting with top seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in tomorrow's title-clash. 

To add to the success from the tennis courts, Sania Mirza, who had earlier won the bronze medal in women's singles, coupled with Vishnu Vardhan to clinch the mixed doubles silver. 

Showing a lot of spunk and fighting spirit India's No 1 player Somdev came back from the brink to subdue Japanese rival Tatsuma Ito to reach the men's singles final in the Asian Games tennis competition and rewrote history. 

Somdev's entry into the men's singles final has ensured the country its first-ever medal in this category in Asian Games.

Top woman player Sania Mirza had won a silver in 2006 in Doha in women's singles but no Indian male had ever reached the gold medal round in singles before Somdev.


Image: Somdev Devvarman
Photographs: Reuters
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Hockey: Indian eves lose to holders China

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An injury-struck India were beaten 1-2 by defending champions China in their last league match in the Asian Games women's hockey competitions on Monday and would now play Japan on November 24 in the bronze medal play-off.

China, who ended the league stages atop the table with 12 points, would take on South Korea in the final but both the teams have qualified for the 2012 London Olympics irrespective of who wins the gold.

In an inconsequential final round-robin tie in the seven-team tournament, India suffered a big set-back when defender Vineeta Toppo, who had twisted her knee in the very first minute of the team's lung-opener against Malaysia in November 13, limped off the ground after 10 minutes. 

Toppo, who was not played at all after the injury prior to Monday, has been ruled out of the tournament along with another player - midfielder Rosalying Rolte, who has not recovered from the ankle injury sustained during the match against Thailand on November 19, according to coach Sandeep Somesh. 

With only 16 players in the party, which includes two goalkeepers, the Indian team management has been left with the hard choice of fielding only twelve in other positions and cannot, therefore, take full advantage of the rolling substitution in the third-place match against Japan against whom they lost 0-3 in the round-robin stages. 


Image: India's Jasjeet Kaur Handa (L) defends against China's Song Qingling during their field hockey game at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou

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Tereshkova defends 400 metre title

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Defending champion Olga Tereshkova of Kazakhstan left the entire bunch behind at the final stretch and crossed the finish line in 51.97secs, her season's best.

Japan's Asami Chiba improved upon her bronze in 2006 Asian Games in Doha by bagging the silver in 52.68 while the bronze went to another Kazakh Marina Maslyonko (52.70).

National record holder Manjeet, gold medallist in 2002 at Busan and silver medallist four years later in Doha, finished a poor fifth in 53.27, two seconds below her personal best.

After opening their track and field campaign in a spectacular fashion with two gold and a silver on Sunday, Indian athletes came a cropper on Monday as they failed to collect a single medal on the second day of the competitions.

Medal prospects Mandeep and Manjeet finished disappointing fourth and fifth with below-par performances in women's 400m final at the Aoti Main Stadium.

One-lap racer Mandeep Kaur, the leading timer in Asia this season and drawn on the outside lane seven, led the field till the back stretch before flagging behind to finish fourth in 52.99 secs.


Image: Olga Tereshkova of Kazakhstan

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Yi Lao wins men's 100 metres

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Meanwhile, Yi Lao of China became the fastest man of Asian Games by clinching the gold medal in 100m dashes in photo finish.

Making a late dash to the finish line, Lao edged out Yasir Alnashri of Saudi Arabia by two hundredths of a second for the men's gold.

Lao clocked 10.24secs, a tad below his personal best of 10.21, while Alnashri timed 10.26.

The bronze went to Barakat Al Harthi of Oman (10.28).


Image: Lao Yi of China celebrates after winning the men's 100m final at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou

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Fukushima becomes Asia's fastest woman

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Chisato Fukushima of Japan became the fastest woman of Asian Games by clinching the gold medal in 100m.

In a tight finish, Fukushima staved off the strong challenge of Uzbekistan's Guzel Khubbieva by one hundredths of a second.

Fukushima won the women's sprint in 11.33 secs, a nail-biting fraction ahead of Khubbieva who crossed the line in 11.34.

The bronze went to Vu Thi Huong of Vietnam who was well behind the top two in 11.43.


Image: Chisato Fukushima

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