Men’s TT & mixed badminton teams earn maiden golds; Shooter Jitu takes India to 3rd spot (Overall Roundup)

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Gold Coast, April 9 (IANS) Two first-time gold medals from the men’s table tennis team and the mixed badminton team, shooter Jitu Rai’s triumph with a meet record and a medal each from Pardeep Singh, Om Mitharwal, Mehuli Ghosh and Apurvi Chandela took India to the third position in the medal table at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) here on Monday.

While the men’s table tennis team, spearheaded by Achanta Sharath Kamal, thrashed Nigeria 3-0 in the final, the mixed badminton team outplayed three-time defending champions Malaysia 3-1 in the final, as India overtook Canada in the medal table with 19 medals in total, including 10 gold. India is behind hosts Australia (106 medals) and England (63 medals).

Among other success stories, Manish Kaushik and Gaurav Solanki entered the quarter-finals, while high jumper Tejaswin Shankar and sprinter Muhammed Anas entered the finals on a day mixed day for the athletics contingent.

Shooters, for the second consecutive day, delivered the most number of medals, headlined by Jitu’s wire-to-wire victory in the men’s 10m Air Pistol final. Jitu created a new CWG record of 235.1 for his second gold medal at the CWG.

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Om bagged the bronze in the same event with 214.3. He exited after the 22nd shot of the 24-shot final.

The women shooters also did India proud as Mehuli and Apurvi bagged silver and bronze respectively in the women’s 10m Air Rifle event.

Mehuli lost to eventual champion Martina Lindsay Veloso of Singapore in the shoot-off after both were tied at a CWG record score of 247.2 in the final. Mehuli scored 9.9 while Martina shot 10.3 in the shoot-off.

Apurvi, the defending champion, got the bronze with 225.3.

Smit Singh flunked in the final of men’s skeet shooting competition, finishing a disappointing sixth.

In team table tennis, India struck a golden pair as the men emulated the women’s effort. The men’s team defeated Nigeria 3-0, after beating Singapore in the semi-finals earlier in the day.

Sharath gave India an early 1-0 lead with a thumping 4-1 (4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9) comeback win over Bode Abiodun in the first singles match of the contest.

India’s top-ranked singles player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran then doubled the lead with another come-from-behind victory over Segun Toriola 4-1 (10-12, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4).

Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai were assigned with the doubles tie and the duo rather had a comfortable 11-8, 11-5, 11-3 win against Omotayo Olajide and Abiodun Bode.

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Sharath had won twice to guide India past Singapore in the semi-finals.

The mixed badminton team also rose to the occasion. World No.2 men’s singles star Kidambi Srikanth, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa all winning a match each to power India past Lee Chong Wei-spearheaded Malaysia which was winning gold since the 2006 CWG.

Elsewhere, India completed its weightlifting campaign with nine medals — the last coming from Pardeep’s Singh silver in the men’s 105 kg category, lifting 152kg in snatch and 200kg in clean and jerk for a total of 352kg.

Other lifters in action during the day, Purnima Pandey finished sixth in a field of eight competitors in the women’s +90kg category, while Lalchhanhimi finished eighth in the 90kg category with a total of 194kg.

In boxing, Kaushik overcame Michael Alexander of Trinidad and Tobago in the round of 16 stage of the lightweight (60 kilogram) category, with a 4:0 margin as four of the five judges ruled in his favour while one scored it as a draw.

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Earlier, Solanki entered the quarter-finals of the men’s flyweight (52 kilogram) category, defeating Akimos Annang Ampiah of Ghana by a unanimous 5:0 verdict in the round of 16.

In athletics, Shankar entered the final of the men’s high jump event with a best attempt of 2.21 metres, finishing the qualification stage at the joint fifth spot.

Sprinter Anas entered the final of the men’s 400 metre event, finishing first in the semifinal, clocking 45.44 seconds with a reaction time of 0.132.

Long-distance runner Suriya Loganathan finished outside of the medals in the women’s 10,000m final, but had a personal best timing of 32:23.56. She finished at the 13th spot.

Tejinder Pal Singh finished a disappointing eighth in the men’s shot put final with a best throw of 19.42 metres.

In lawn bowls, India outplayed South Africa 19-7 in the men’s Fours round 1, while the women’s team lost 15-23 to Fiji in the Triples opening round.

However, there were disappointments on the pool, with Virdhawal Khade and Srihari Nataraj crashing out of the 50 metre Freestyle and 200 metre backstroke event respectively.

–IANS

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