Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Medals rain for India on day 10 of CWG

On a day when medals rained for India at the 19th Commonwealth Games, history was created when Indian athletes won their first medals on the track since the legendary Milkha Singh won gold more than half a century ago.

India, who had publicly declared their target of claiming the second spot on the medals
tally before the start of the Games, moved closer towards their goal with a haul of 32 gold, 25 silver and 32 bronze medals for a total of 89 medals.

With just two days to go before the Games comes to an end on October 14, the hosts are at the second spot among the 71 participating nations, ahead of England who have gathered 30 gold so far.

The English are however, ahead as far as the total number of medals are concerned and they can yet upset India's party over the next couple of days.

The athletes were the toast of the entire country as they bagged medals across several events to break a 52-year-old jinx and upset Milkha Singh's pre-Games prediction that the hosts will return empy handed from the track and field disciplines.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium - the main venue of the Commonwealth Games - was the place to be as the frenzied crowd and loudspeakers blaring out popular Indian tunes gelled together to create an electrifying atmosphere.

The entire stadium swung to the tune of A R Rahman's 'Jai Ho' as India claimed five medals in athletics, including a gold.

Deafening roars and wild cheers from thousands of pectators supported the athletes as they took the Indian medal tally in the athletics events to 12.

After the 52-year-old gold medal drought in athletics was broken by Krishna Poonia who won a gold in the women's discus throw yesterday, the Indian women 4x400m relay team bagged another gold for the hosts.

Indian athletes Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur finished first as they clocked 3:27.77s to claim the gold.

India's Geetha Satti, Srabani Nanda, Priya P K and Jyothi Manjunath clocked 45.25s to stand at the third position in 4x100m women's relay.

Complimenting their female counterparts, India's Rahamatulla Molla, Suresh Sathya, Shameer Mon Manzile and Md Abdul Qureshi clocked 38.89s to win another bronze for the hosts in the 4x100m men's relay.

In the men's triple jump finals, India's Renjith Maheswary stood third to bag a bronze with a jump of 17.07m. The effort also fetched him a national record.

The fourth bronze of the day for India came from Kashinath Naik in the men's javelin throw.

He threw the javelin to a distance of 74.29m to stand at the third position.

Vikas Shive Gowda and Prajusha Maliakkal won silver in men's discus throw and women long jump respectively. Yesterday, Harminder Singh and Kavita Raut had bagged bronze medal each in 20km walk race and 10,000m women's race respectively.

In shooting, on a day of mixed fortunes for India, Heena Sidhu and Anu Raj Singh struck gold in women's 10m air pistol Pairs event but favourites Gagan Narang and Tejaswini Sawant failed to bag the expected yellow medals.

Women's pistol pair of Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh were lucky winner as they had better scores in the third and fourth series as count-back was necessitated to break the three-way deadlock for the gold, silver and bronze medals.

Heena fired a series of 96, 94, 97, 97 for a total of 384 while Annu shot 92, 95, 95, 93 as the two posted 759 with 21 'bulls eyes'.

Australia and Canada were also on 759, but Canada had to settle for bronze having scored 14 bulls eyes. But Australia had the same number of 10s as India and only in the count-back did India win the gold medal.

Melbourne Commonwealth Games' best athlete, Samresh Jung won his first medal of Delhi CWG when he and his partner CK Chaudhary took the silver medal in the men's 25 standard fire pistol.

Jung shot 384 with a series of 195, 183, 183, but Chaudhary misfired forcing India to settle for the silver. Singapore won the gold with Bin Gai and Lip Meng Poh scoring a total of 1116 against the total of 1103.

The Indian hockey team added the cherry on the cake when they defeated England 8-7 via tie-breaker to set up a title clash with Australia in the men's hockey competition.

Indians who trailed 1-3 till the 57th minute, cameback so strongly that Englishmen were left clueless and wondeing what hit them as the hosts drew level at 3-3 by the 59th minute.

As the teams failed to score anymore in the remaining regulation period, 15 minutes of extra time was played, which also failed to break the deadlock leading to the tie breaker.

The hosts converted all their five strokes and then goalkeeper Bharat Chetri emerged most unlikely hero as he blocked Australia's third stroke taken by Glenn Kirkham and paved way for India to move into the final of this competition for the first time.

For India, who were levelled 1-1 at halftime, the goal scorers were Sarvanjit Singh (two) and Vikram Pillay (one).

For England, Ashley Jackson (2) and Simon Mantell (one) scored.

In the tie breaker, Sarvanjit, Vikram Pillay, Sandeep Singh, Arjun Halappa and Shivender singh converted their strokes for the host.

For England, Richard Smith, Richard Mantell, Ashley Jackson, Simon Mantell converted while Glenn Kirkham failed to beat the goalkeeper.

As India stormed into the final leaving the Englishmen crestfallan and in tears, Indian players celebrated the win, backed by thousands of their supporters who danced and partied wildly to the sound of defeaning Bhangra music.

Meanwhile, keeping alive Indian hopes of winning a medal in table tennis, top paddler Sarath Kamal annihilated Liang Ma of Singapore to reach semifinals of the mens singles, at the Yamuna Sports Complex.

Soumyadeep Roy also kept the tri-colour fluttering as he crushed top seed Cia Xiao Li of Singapore to enter the men's singles semifinals.

Among the women paddlers, Mouma Das and Poulomi Ghatak also reached the last four stage.

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