India end third in overall medals tally
M N Shome in Manchester
India capped their stupendous show in the XVII Commonwealth Games grabbing two more medals in wrestling and maintained their third position in the overall tally as the eleven-day extravaganza drew to a close in Manchester on Sunday.
The experienced Shokinder Tomar fetched a silver medal in the 60kg wrestling event while Anil Kumar had to be content with a bronze in the 96kg category to boost India's overall haul to 32 gold, 21 silver and 19 bronze medals.
But with Indian participation limited to these two events on the final day of competition in this northern English city, the flow of gold medals stopped after a deluge of 10 first-place finishes on Saturday.
Tomar made a valiant effort to scoop up a fourth wrestling gold for India, but could not prevail over his strong Canadian opponent Guivi Sissaouri.
In the 96kg category, Anil Kumar Mann defeated Pakistan's Muhammad Bashar Bhola to clinch the bronze medal with the gold going to Canada's Dean Schmeichel.
The Indian grapplers had a rewarding day on Saturday with Krishan Kumar, Ramesh Kumar and Palwinder Singh Cheema winning the coveted gold medal in their respective categories. Anuj Kumar had chipped in with a silver medal.
With the addition of two more medals, India's wrestling medal collection went up to three gold, two silver, and one bronze medal.
Star shuttler Aparna Popat and paddler Chetan Baboor, who were far from impressive at the Games, also chipped in with a bronze medal each having reached the semi-final stage of their respective events.
Although the semi-final contests in both badminton and table tennis were held on Saturday, the medals were presented on Sunday after the finals.
Popat had lost to England's Tracy Hallen in the women's singles semi-final with a 3-7, 3-7, 1-7 score line, hardly doing justice to her reputation.
Baboor made a more valiant effort to quell the challenge of Canada's Johnny Huang before going down with a 1-4 margin. Baboor lost 4-11, 12-14, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11 in a match that lasted nearly an hour.
The Indian party was somewhat spoiled by news of weightlifter Krishnan Madaswamy being stripped of his silver medals. Madaswamy, who won three silver medals in the 65kg category, tested positive for a banned drug on Saturday.
Madaswamy, who claimed not to have taken any banned substance, has filed an appeal for a second test of his B sample.
Back in New Delhi, Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi warned that Madaswamy would be given exemplary punishment if he failed the second test too.
"We will come down heavily against him," Kalmadi told the Press Trust of India. "It has been our sincere endeavour that Indian sports be made completely free of drugs and we will not tolerate any indiscipline on this count."
Kalmadi added that Madaswamy had been tested and cleared before he went for the Commonwealth Games.
Madaswamy's positive test has come as a major embarrassment for the Indian contingent. The weightlifters contributed as many as 13 of India's 32 gold medals.
Images: Day 10