India breaches 100-mark to consolidate top spot in South Asian Games
Led by strong performances by wushu players and swimmers, India breached the 100-medal mark by winning a whopping 50 medals on the fourth day of competitions to consolidate its top position in the South Asian Games, in Kathmandu, on Thursday.
India secured its best medal haul on a single day so far in the Games to lead the medal tally with 58 gold, 41 silver and 19 bronze for a total of 118 medals to leave hosts Nepal far behind in the second spot.
Nepal has 36 gold, 26 silver and 34 bronze for a total of 96 medals, followed by Sri Lanka (16 gold, 31 silver, 52 bronze) at third position.
India added 26 gold, 18 silver and 6 bronze on Thursday.
The bulk of India's medals came from swimming, wushu, weightlifting and athletics. India's gold rush was triggered by wushu with as many as seven yellow metals coming from it.
Suraj Singh fetched the first wushu gold of the day in men's gunshu all-round event before Y Sanathoi Devi (women's sansou 52kg), Punam (women's 75kg), Deepika (women's 70kg), Sushila (women's 65kg), Roshibina Devi (women's 60kg) and Sunil Singh (men's 52kg) also clinched top spots in their respective events.
O Bidyapati Chanu bagged a bronze in women's sansou 56kg category.
Swimming accounted for the most medals for India on Thursday with 11, of which four were gold, six silver and one bronze.
Likith Selvaraj Prema clocked 2 minute 14.67 seconds to win the men's 200m breaststroke (short course) gold while compatriot Danush Suresh won the silver in 2:19.27.
India's second gold from swimming came from Apeksha Delyla Fernandes who won the men's 200m breaststroke (short course) with a time of 2:38.05.
Divya Satija clinched a gold in women's 100m butterfly (short course), clocking 1:02.78, before the women's 400m freestyle relay team finished on top of the podium with a time of 3:55.17.
Indians bagged four gold medals on the first day of weightlifting competitions. Jhilli Dalabehera, who had fetched a silver in the Asian Weightlifting Championship earlier this year, lifted a total of 151 kg (66kg in snatch and 85kg in clean & jerk) to win the yellow metal in women's under 45 kg category.
In the women's under 49kg event, Sneha Soren bagged the top honours. The 18-year-old lifted 68kg in the snatch and followed it up by an 89kg effort in the clean and jerk category for a total of 157kg.
In the women's 55kg event, Commonwealth Championship gold medallist Sorokhaibam Bindyarani Devi emerged victorious. The Manipuri lifted a total of 181kg to grab the top spot on the podium.
India's fourth weightlifting gold of the day came from Siddhant Gogoi in the men's 61 kg category for his effort of 264 kg.
Taekwondo players' impressive show also continued as they gave India six medals -- 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze. India's participation in the taekwondo discipline in the SAG was allowed at the eleventh hour after intervention from the International Olympic Committee.
Purva Dattary Dixit (women's 49kg), Ruchika Bhave (women's 67kg) and Margaret Maria (women's 73kg) bagged the gold for India while Niraj Choudhary (men's 58kg) and Akshay Hooda (men's 87kg) clinched a silver each. Lakshya then added a bronze in men's 80kg category.
Track and field athletes had a relatively quieter day after leading from the front in the past two days as they pocketed six medals, including one gold, on Thursday.
Triple jumper Karthik Unnikrishnan was the lone gold winner in athletics as he cleared a distance of 16.47m while compatriot Mohammed Salahuddin jumped 16.16m to win the silver for a 1-2 finish for India.
Surender Jayakumar (men's 110m hurdles), Aparna Roy (women's 100m hurdles) and Priya Habbathanahally (women's 400m) also won a silver each while KS Jeevan (men's 400m) bagged a bronze.