The Indian Women’s Four is not going to rest on its laurels and will go for the gold in Tuesday’s final against South Africa in the Commonwealth Games lawn bowls competition here, said team manager Anju Luthra after the team’s historic victory against New Zeland.
“We have won the medal after 12 years of hard work. On occasions, we had missed the medal by one bowl, in the quarterfinal, or the semifinal. But this year we proved it and we are on the podium, but we would like to convert into the gold and we will try our level best to create history on history,” Anju Luthra said on Monday.
As the years of sweat and toil and many disappointments culminated in a historic moment for Indian lawn bowl players at the Commonwealth Games here on Monday, the Women’s Fours assured the country its maiden medal in the sport with a superb 16-13 win against New Zealand at the Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa.
The Indian Fours comprising Lovely Dubey, Pinki, Nayanmoni Saikia and Rupa Rani Tirkey had reached the semifinals after beating Norfolk Island 17-9 in the quarterfinals and secured victory their place in the final with a superb effort in the 15th and final end.
With the higher seeded New Zealand taking an early lead and catching up with India at the end of the 13th end, the Kiwis held a narrow one-shot lead at 13-12. But the Indians made the last bowls count to grab four points to grab their place in the final.
“I had full confidence on the last bowl, I said ‘you can do it, you can do it’ and Rupa (Rani Tirkey) proved it and we won the four points to win,” said Anju Luthra after the historic semifinal win.
She said the recent history of Indians at international competitions, especially the Commonwealth Games, is full of disappointments caused by narrow losses in the knockout stages.
By beating New Zealand in the semifinals in Birmingham, the players proved that they may have taken the sport late, they belong to the sport and deserve their spot in the final.
Anju said winning the semifinal was very important for the players as the medal with get the sport lot of attention and also place the sport’s administrators following the numerous narrow misses in the Commonwealth Games over the years.
“Getting a medal is important because when we go back (to India), the federation always says ‘what have you done?’, so we want to prove that we are not less than any other game,” she said adding, that it will get the sport and the players the attention they deserve.