Gold Coast, April 7 (IANS) Venkat Rahul Ragala and veteran Sathish Kumar Sivalingam extended India’s gold medal-hunting run in the weightlifting competitions, while the table tennis teams and the badminton mixed team advanced to the semi-finals of the at the Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.
A gold each from Venkat Rahul (85kg) and defending champion Sathish (77kg) lifted India to the fourth spot in the points table with a total of six medals (four gold, one silver and one bronze) — all of them coming from the weightlifters in the first three days of the CWG here.
Also, India has got four gold medals in weightlifting competitions in an edition of the CWG for the first time.
Defending champion Sathish, from Tamil Nadu, registered a total of 317 kg which included 144 kg in snatch and 173 kg in clean and jerk.
Venkat Rahul, the 21-year-old from Andhra Pradesh, lifted a total of 338 kg — 151 kg in snatch and 187 in clean and jerk — to bring maiden gold medal for India in this weight category.
Indian boxers L. Sarita Devi (60kg), Manoj Kumar (69kg) and Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) entered the quarter-finals with respective wins over Barbados’ Kimberly Gittens, Kassim Mbundwike of Tanzania and Boe Warawara of Vanuatu.
But there were some disappointments from India too, with the men’s hockey team being held 2-2 in their opening pool encounter, while Joshna Chinappa’s defeat in the women’s quarter-finals ended the country’s challenge in the squash singles events. Joshna lost to Joelle King of New Zealand 0-3 (5-11, 6-11, 9-11).
To add to the woes, the basketball teams stared at the exit following successive defeats, while swimmers, cyclists and gymnasts remained far away from the prospective medal-winning situations.
India enjoyed stellar day in the indoor competitions of badminton and table tennis. The badminton team thumped Mauritius 3-0 to set-up a semi-final against Singapore, while the men’s and women’s table tennis teams got past Malaysian sides with an identical 3-0 scorelines to progress to the semi-finals.
In swimming, Srihari Nataraj finished ninth in the semi-finals of the men’s 50 metre backstroke, while Sajan Prakash finished a disappointing last in the men’s 200 metre butterfly final.
In artistic gymnastics, women’s individual all-around final saw Aruna Budda Reddy and Pranati Das finished a disappointing 14th and 16th respectively, while Yogeshwar Singh finished a disappointing 14th in the all-around final, totalling 75.600 points. While Aruna totalled 44.400 after her four rotations, Pranati’s final score was 43.900 at the end of her four rotations.
There were disappointments in basketball too, with the men’s team going down 54-100 to England and the women’s team losing 72-85 to Malaysia in their preliminary round matches.
In men’s hockey, India had taken a comfortable 2-0 lead with goals from Dilpreet Singh (13th minute) and Harmanpreet Singh (20th) but a desperate Pakistan reduced the margins with goals from striker Muhammad Irfan Junior (39th) and Ali Mubashar (60th minute, penalty corner).
In lawn bowls action, India’s team of Farzana Khan, Lovely Choubey, Rupa Rani Tirkey and Nayanmoni Saikiasquandered a promising start to narrowly go down 11-13 to Malta in the lawn bowls women’s Fours quarter-final, while in men’s pairs Sectional Play, India lost 7-17 to Norfolk Island. India defeated South Africa 18-17 in men’s Triples Sectional Play.
In cycling, Deborah Herold and Aleena Reji finished 13th and 14th respectively in the women’s 500m time trial, while the trio of Sanuraj Sanandaraj, Ranjit Singh and Sahil Kumar failed to qualify forward to the quarterfinals of the men’s sprint.