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Somdev creates history with tennis double

Last updated on: November 23, 2010 23:10 IST

Somdev creates history with tennis double

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Somdev Devvarman created history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in the men's singles tennis event of the Asian Games as India managed just three medals in the 11th day of competitions at Guangzhou on Tuesday.

Second seed Somdev, who had won a gold in the men's doubles event alongwith Sanam Singh on Monday, upset top seed and world number 44 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1, 6-2 in the lop-sided summit clash here to achieve the historic feat.

With the addition of just three medals, India's medal haul climbed to 7 gold, 12 silver and 20 bronze.

The spotlight was on young Somdev as he entered history books with his superb win in the final over the top seed Uzbek who seemed totally off-colour.

Just last month, Somdev had won men's singles gold at the Commonwealth Games and has been the face of India on the ATP Tour in singles for quite some time. 

The gritty Indian fell on his back on the court with tears in his eyes when a forehand error by Istomin signalled Somdev's victory. 

"I am very, very happy to get the gold here. It's a dream come true. No one comes to an Asian Games with the intention of winning two gold medals. Representing the country gives me the greatest pleasure," said Somdev.

India had three bronze medals in men's singles to show so far at the Games with Leander Paes (Hiroshima in 1994), Mahesh Bhupathi (Bangkok in 1998) and Prahlad Srinath (Bangkok in 1998) winning them in the last decade.

In total, Somdev won three medals at this edition of the Games as he had earlier won a bronze in team event as well.

India rounded off its tennis campaign with five medals, two more than what the country had got at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.


Image: India's Somdev Devvarman celebrates with his gold medal after his men's tennis final win over Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou
Photographs: Reuters
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Malaysia dash India's gold medal hopes in hockey

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India's dream to win a gold medal in men's hockey event of the Asian Games came crashing down after they suffered a shocking 3-4 defeat at the hands of lower-ranked Malaysia in the second semifinal at the Aoti Hockey Field on Tuesday.

Malaysia, ranked 15th in the world, defeated the Commonwealth Games silver medallist through a golden goal after both sides were tied 3-3 at the end of regulation time, to set up a title clash with Pakistan who knocked out defending champions South Korea in the first semifinal.

Penalty corner conversion turned out to be the difference between the two sides as Malaysia converted three out of the four short corners they earned in the match, while the Indians could utilise only two out of four.

The Indians were also done in by some sloppy defending inside the circle, which resulted in all the penalty corners for Malaysia. 

Coming into the match with an unbeaten record, a lot was expected of India, but they cut a sorry figure against a determined Malaysian outfit who were by far the better side on display.


Image: Malaysia's Muhamad Amin Rahim celebrates after scoring the winning goal against India in their men's semi-final field hockey game at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou

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Tarasova wins heptathlon gold, bronze for Pramila

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Meanwhile, the other Indian bronze winner of the day, GG Pramila finished third with 5415 points in the seven-event heptathlon competition.

The gold and the silver in this event went to Yulia Tarasova of Uzbekistan and Yuki Nakata of Japan, who scored 5783 and 5606 points respectively.

Another Indian in the fray, Sushmita Singha Roy finished fourth with 5051 points.

Pramila was second in shot put, 200m race, long jump and javelin while finishing third in 100m hurdles, fourth in high jump and fifth in 800m.

Jung Soo Nok of South Korea was the surprise winner in the long jump with a jump of 6.53m as she pushed Doha Asian Games bronze winner Olga Rypakova (6.50m) of Kazakhstan and season's leader Yulia Tarasova (6.49m) of Uzbekistan to second and third respectively.


Image: Uzbekistan's Yuliya Tarasova celebrates winning the women's heptathlon at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou

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Poonia settles for bronze

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A below par Krishna Poonia had to settle for a bronze in women's discus throw on the third day of track and field competitions in the Asian Games.

Poonia, who had won a bronze in Doha Asian Games four years ago, was expected to win at least a medal going by the performances of the seven throwers in the field and it was a question of the colour of the medal.

The three-way contest among Commonwealth Games champion Poonia, Doha Asian Games gold medallist Song Aimin of China and another Chinese Li Yangfeng, however, turned out to be two-way as Poonia could not improve upon her 61.94m which she achieved in her first attempt.

Poonia's effort was more than her CWG gold-winning 61.51m effort but well below her personal best as well as season's best of 63.69m.

Season's leader and VTB Bank Continental Cup winner, Yangfeng hurled 66.18m, a tad below her personal best of 66.40m, in her second attempt to win the gold.

Aimin was trailing Poonia before clearing her silver-winning 64.04m, her season's best but lower than her personal best of of 65.44m, in her fourth attempt.

Another Indian in the fray, Harwant Kaur, who had won a silver in the CWG, was a distant fourth with a disappointing 57.55m effort.


Image: China's gold medalist Li Yanfeng (C) stands with compatriot silver medalist Song Aimin and India's bronze medalist Krishna Poonia after the women's discus throw final during the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou

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Shuai Peng wins women's singles title

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Shuai Peng demolished Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova 7-5, 6-2 to win the women's singles tennis title on Tuesday.

The opening set was an extremely tight affair both the players matched each other shot for shot.

It was at 5-5 that Peng secured the decisive break.

Thereafter, Peng, ranked 72nd in the current WTA list, dominated the match, breaking Amanmuradova's serve twice in the second set. 

The Chinese wrapped up the set 6-2 in less than half-an-hour.

It is the second tennis gold for China at Guanzhou, having already pocketed the women's team event.


Image: Peng Shuai of China hits a return to Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan during the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou

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