Indian lifters to the Four

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Apr 2018 10:14:10



Resolute lifters add two more golds, lacklustre hockey team draws opening match



Nation Total
Australia 20 17 20   57
England  14  12 32
Canada 5    7 6 18
India 4 1 1     6
South Africa  4  7
Scotland  3   6 15
New Zealand 3   5 12
Wales  2   1 6
Malaysia  2   0 3


Bermuda  1  1

 India’s schedule


ATHLETICS: Men’s 20 km walk: Irfan Thodi, Manish Singh Rawat (2:30); Women’s: Khusbir Kaur, Soumya Baby (4:45); Men’s 400m (Heat 1): Muhammed Anas (11:15); Men’s Shot Put Qualifying Round Group A: Tejinder Singh (12.05).
WEIGHTLIFTING: Women’s 69kg: Punam Yadav (5:00); Men’s 94kg: Vikas Thakur (9:30); Women’s 75kg: Seema (2:00).
HOCKEY: Women’s Pool A: India vs England (5:00).
TABLE TENNIS: Women’s Team semi-final: India vs England (6:00).
BADMINTON: Mixed Team semi-final: India vs Singapore (6:30).
SWIMMING: Men’s 100m butterfly heat 1: Sajan Prakash (7:08); Men’s 50m backstroke: Srihari Nataraj (5:00).
BOXING: Women’s 45-48kg Quarter-final 2: MC Mary Kom vs Megan Gordon (Scotland) (7:45); Women’s 69kg Quarter-final 3: Lovlina Borgohain vs Sandy Ryan (England) (2:30); Men’s 75kg Round of 16: Vikas Krishan vs Campbell Somerville (Australia) (9:30).
SHOOTING: Men’s 10m air rifle final: Ravi Kumar and Deepak Kumar (9:00); Women’s 10m air pistol final: Manu Bhaker and Heena Sidhu (7:30); Women’s Skeet final: Saniya Sheikh, Maheshwari Chauhan (11:15); Men’s Skeet: Smit Singh, Sheeraj Sheikh qualification day 1 (5:00).
BASKETBALL: India vs New Zealand: Women’s Preliminary Round Pool B (13:00); India vs Scotland: Men’s Preliminary Round Pool B (16.30).
GYMNASTICS: Women’s Vault Final: Pranati Nayak (10:57); Men’s Ring Final: Rakesh Patra (12:16).
CYCLING: Women scratch race final: Amritha Reghunath, Sonali Chang, Manorama Devi (04:15); Women’s Kerin final: Deborah Herold, Aleena Reji (04:35); Men’s 40km points race final: Manjeet Singh (04:50); 1000m time trial: Ranjit Singh, Sahil Kumar (2:37). (Timings IST. Timings subject to change)

UNDETERRED by niggles and lack of proper physiotherapic care, Indian weightlifters delivered two more gold medals for the country on Saturday, while shuttlers and boxers remained unbeaten to make up for the hockey team’s sloppy draw against Pakistan on Day Three of the 21st Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.
India now have four gold, a silver and a bronze in the event, leaving them fourth on the overall tally. Hosts Australia top the charts with a whopping 57 medals—20 gold, 17 silver and 20 bronze.

India’s two gold medals on Saturday came through Sathish Sivalingam (77kg) and Venkat Rahul Ragala (85kg), both of whom were not 100 per cent fit owing to respective thigh and knee injuries but still managed to keep ahead of the competition.

The 25-year-old Sathish, the defending champion, lifted a total of 317kg (114kg+173kg) and was so ahead of competition that he forfeited his final clean and jerk lift.
“I had no hopes of winning a medal after I injured my thighs during the national championships while attempting 194kg in clean and jerk. It’s a quadriceps problem, even now I am competing at less than ideal fitness but I am glad that was enough to get me a gold,” Sathish said. The 21-year-old Rahul, who is a Commonwealth Championships gold-medallist, lifted a total of 338kg (151kg+187kg) to finish on top.

“I had been weakened by a knee injury during the Commonwealth Championships last year. But the coaches supported me immensely to get this medal. I haven’t been able to train that well,” he said.
Their performances despite fitness issues once again highlighted the desperate need for a physiotherapist in the competition area.

Accreditation issues have denied physio Aakrant Saxena access to the lifters in the competition area, forcing him to work with them on the sidelines.
The Indians bossed the badminton court as well and remained unbeaten en route confirming a semi-final berth. The team at the receiving end of the top seeds’ ferocity on Saturday was Mauritius, blanked 3-0 by Saina Nehwal and Co. In yet another clinical takedown.

Up next for them is Singapore in the semi-finals on Saturday. Such has been their dominance that the ruling out of top star and captain, PV Sindhu from the competition, owing to an ankle injury, has had no impact on their fortunes. Sindhu is, however, likely to return to action for her women’s singles campaign which gets underway on April 11.

The boxers’ rampaging run also continued unabated as the veteran duo of L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Manoj Kumar (59kg) advanced to the quarter-finals along with Commonwealth Games debutant Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).
However, the men’s hockey team was a disappointment in its clash against arch-rival Pakistan. All the excitement came down to the last seven seconds as the Indian hockey team’s perennial problem of conceding late goals left them with a disappointing 2-2 draw against a sloppy Pakistan.
A penalty corner earned in the last seven seconds, thought to be saved when taken, reinstated after an appeal by Pakistan, proved to be India’s undoing in what was a lacklustre clash for most part but for P Sreejesh’s brilliant saves.

Dilpreet Singh (13th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (19th minute) put India ahead before Mohammed Irfan Junior (38th minute) and Mubashar Ali (59th minute) drew parity and helped their team claim the moral victory.
“Today, I didn’t recognise the team I have been coaching for the last five months,” a livid India coach Sjoerd Marijne said after the pool B match.

Away from the spotlight, both the men’s and women’s table tennis teams entered the semi-finals. Both the teams were up against Malaysia in their respective ties and came out trumps with identical 3-0 margins.
Manu in focus, Heena and Kumars also in fray as shooters eye glory THE focus is firmly trained on teen sensation Manu Bhaker as the fancied Indian shooting team eyes a head start at the 21st Commonwealth Games and continuation of its recent dominance of the discipline in the quadrennial extravaganza.

The 16-year-old Manu will be lining up alongside the experienced Heena Sidhu in the women’s 10m air pistol event at the Belmont Shooting Range.
Also in action on the first day of shooting competition will be the impressive Ravi Kumar and Deepak Kumar in men’s 10m air rifle.
Saniya Sheikh and Maheshwari Chauhan will represent India, a powerhouse in these Games, in the women’s skeet, finals of which will also be held on Sunday followed by the qualifications.

The maximum buzz is certainly around Manu, who has won an unprecedented double gold in her maiden senior ISSF World Cup in Mexico last month. The versatile girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, then grabbed two more gold in the junior World Cup in Sydney.
Smit Singh and Sheeraj Sheikh will also compete in men’s skeet qualification day one.
With shooters like Chain Singh, Jitu Rai, Omprakash Mitharwal, Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant, Heena and Shreyasi Singh competing in more than one event, the selectors were able to constructively utilise the quota of 15 men and 12 women to make a strong squad.

It may be noted that the organisers of the CWG had cut the quota of participants for all countries recently, and thus Indian shooting got a reduced quota of 27 from an earlier allocation of 30. A total of nine men’s and eight women’s events will be held in rifle, pistol and shotgun categories.
Then there is Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang, a veteran of many a battles and one who has been sharing his knowledge with the young shooters.

Having already stamped their class on the big stage, the youngest shooters in the national team will again jostle for space with the big players, vying for top honours.
The abundance of talent is complemented by a confident approach which the likes of Manu, Mehuli Ghosh, Anish Bhanwala and Anjum Moudgil are expected to display.
The squad has a good mix of experience and youth with the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) picking four junior shooters and a few who are under the age of 25.

The likes of Rai, Narang and Apurvi Chandela along with other experienced shooters like Heena, Tejaswini Sawant, Sanjeev Rajput, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and double trap World Cup gold medallist Ankur Mittal can be a handful for the other competing nations, including the shooters from hosts Australia and England.

Some of the Indian shooters have the experience of shooting at this range, which also hosted the Commonwealth Shooting Championship last November, and that could be of some help.
India has been a dominant force in shooting at the CWG with the shooters winning 17 out of the country’s 64 medals at the Glasgow Games in 2014.
As hosts in 2010, Indian shooters claimed a staggering 30-plus podium finishes, and the expectations remain same eight years on.