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South Asian Games: Gold rush continues for India

Source: PTI
February 06, 2010 23:05 IST
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Swimmers led the gold rush as India bagged a rich haul of 33 medals, including 17 yellow metals, to leave other countries far behind on the ninth day of the 11th South Asian Games in Dhaka on Saturday.

In a superlative show, Indians bagged 17 gold, 11 silver and four bronze, the most on any single day, as the total medal tally stood just one short of 100 with just two days left in the Games.

India now have 57 gold, 28 silver and 14 bronze medals to rule the roost in the 12-day sporting extravaganza of the region.

Pakistan are at a distant second with 48 medals (11 gold, 18 silver, 19 bronze) while hosts Bangladesh have eight gold, 12 silver and 36 bronze for the third place.

Swimming sensation Veerdhawal Khade set two new meet records while GVA Puttaveerswami broke another to help India earn four gold, all the five silver medals at the National Swimming Complex at Mirpur.

In athletics, Indians pocketed three gold, two silver and two bronze, including the men's 200m win by Abdul Najeeb Qureshi to begin their campaign on a memorable note at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.

On penultimate day of shooting, India made two out of two as Tejaswini Muley was the star performer, clinching gold in 50m three position individual and team events at the National Shooting Complex range at Gulshan here.

Indian wrestlers claimed all the three top honours up for grabs to begin their campaign with a bang. Pradeep Kumar (66kg), Rajeev Sharma (84kg) and Hitesh (120kg) won gold.

At the north-eastern city of Sylhet, India bagged three gold and two bronze medals to open their tally in wushu.

In taekwondo, India could not win a gold but Surender Bhandari (men's 68kg) ensured a silver at the National Sports Council Gymnasium here.

In handball and squash, India lost to arch rivals Pakistan to settle for silver medals.

The only disappointment of the day came in golf individual section, where India could not get any medal.

India had a calm start in athletics with Sri Lanka bagging top honours in 1500m men's and 200m women's races but then Qureshi reigned supreme in men's 200m as India began their campaign with three gold, two silver and two bronze.

In the first track and field event (1500m) of the day, Sri Lankan long distance runner Chaminda Wijekoon (4:10.01) pipped India's Sunil Kumar (4:10.57) for gold. Another Lankan also clinched the bronze through P H Chamal (4:10.97).

India had more disappointment in store and had to wait longer for the gold as Sri Lankan Chandrika Subakshini took the women's 200m top place with a timing of 24.49s.

Sri Lankans had a top two finish with Pramila Priyadarshini (24.63) finishing second. India had to settle for bronze through Jauna Murmu who clocked 24.87.

But Qureshi brought smile back on Indians' face as he recorded his personal best of 21.16 sec in 200m for the first gold for the country in athletics.

Lankan Shehan Saearuwan Abeypitiyage (21.19) and Liaqat Ali of Pakistan (21.27) took silver and bronze respectively.

Thereafter, India had a roll with Balamurugan Thyagarajan clinching the 400m hurdles clocking 52.24. India also earned the bronze in the same event through Avina Thomas Aruparayil (52.52). Avina and Haqnawaz of Pakistan had a photo finish before the Indian was adjudged third.

In long jump, Mohammad Ibrar earned India the third gold with a leap of 7.44m.

In discus throw, Pakistan won their first gold in athletics through Basharat Ali (52.43m) while Simranjeet Singh earned the second silver for India with a throw of 49.18m.

Led by swimming sensation Khade, India pocketed four gold including three new meet records, and five silver medals.

The youngest Indian swimmer to represent in Beijing Olympics, Khade shattered two meet records en route to back to back gold in 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle events.

In the 400m freestyle, GVA Puttaveerswami clocked 4:04.85s for the third meet record. Rehan Poncha held the previous best of 4:05.94s set in Colombo SA Games (2006).

Khade reigned supreme in his pet events -- 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly as he was no match to his rivals.

In 50m butterfly, Khade clocked 25.54 to better his own record of 25.97 (SA Games, Colombo). Arjun Muralidharan earned India the silver with 26.15s while local lad Mohammad Anik Islam settled for the bronze with a timing of 26.61.

In 50m freestyle, Khade's 23.73 gold-winning effort bettered the previous record held by Sebastian Xavier (23.89). India's Aaron D'Souza finished second (24.42) while Mohammad Mahfizur Rahman of Bangladesh, with a timing of 24.53, won the bronze.

Richa Mishra (1:05.74) claimed India's the fourth gold in swimming in women's 100m butterfly, while Vandita Dhariyal (1:08.40) ensured that all the five silver medals remain with India.

Balkrishnan Badrinath (59.08) missed the gold by a fraction of seconds as India had to settle for silver in the 100m backstroke. Sri Lankan Heshan Bandara Unamboowe set a new meet record with a timing of 58.98 as he bettered compatriot Andrew Abeysinghe's timing of 1:00.01 en route to a gold.

Indian shooters reigned supreme, claiming both the gold medals on offer and also bagged one silver.

15-year-old Tejaswini was the star Indian performer clinching both the gold, which included one in team event.

In the women's 50m three position (3x20) individual event, Tejaswini shot 568 out of 600 to reign supreme.

Another Indian bagged silver, which was determined in shoot-off. Hema Khatri Chetri and local girl Sabrina Sultana were locked with scores of 564 each. In the ensuing shoot-off with five bullets each, Hema shot 47.2 to pip Sabrina for the silver medal.

A cumulative score of 1687 by Tejaswini, Hema and Anuja Jung (555) earned India the second successive gold in the team event of 50m three position. Bangladesh (1669) and Sri Lanka (1654) took the silver and bronze respectively.

India bagged three gold and two bronze medals in wushu which was included for the first time in the Games.

Ravinder Kumar (men's 70kg), Sanathoi Devi Yumnam (women's 48kg) and Sandhyarani Devi Wangkhem (women's 60kg) clinched the top honours in their respective categories.

Shankar Subedi (men's 60kg) and Joy Singh (men's 65kg) clinched the bronze medals.

In an upset of sorts, India lost to arch-rivals Pakistan 31-37 in gold medal match in handball.

Praseed scored eight goals while Shamsher Singh found the target seven times for India but were not enough as Pakistan registered a fine win with some superb performances by Azhar Khan (10 goals), Mohammad Nadeem (seven).

Indian duo of Ravi Dixit and Gaurav Nandrajog lost their respective matches to bow to Pakistan in squash and settle for silver at the Dhaka Club courts.

Archers began brightly topping their ranking rounds on the opening day at BKSP at Savar about 40kms from here.

Olympians Tarundeep Rai and Dola Banerjee topped the men's and women's standings respectively.

Indians drew a blank in the individual golf competition as Bangladesh made a clean sweep through Dulal Hossain (gold), Jamal Hossain Mollah (silver) and Jakiruzzaman (bronze).

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