Indian rowers, tennis pair claim gold medals

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Aug 2018 10:21:20


 

PALEMBANG,

(PTI),

INDIAN rowers and tennis doubles team won gold medals on a fruitful day for India in the ongoing Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games 2018 on Friday. The Indian rowing team comprising Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh clocked 6:17.13 to win the gold medal in men’s quadruple sculls.

On tennis courts, top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan notched up their maiden men’s doubles gold medal, defeating Aleksander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4 in 52 minutes. It was redemption of sorts for rower Bhokanal after Thursday’s forgettable show, when he failed to complete his event leaving the coach fuming.

Hosts Indonesia (6:20.58) and Thailand (6:22.41) were placed second and third respectively in the quadruple skulls. Before landing the top prize, India bagged two bronze medals in the sport through Rohit Kumar and Bhagwan Singh in lightweight double sculls after Dushyant started the day with a third-place finish in lightweight single sculls.

Rohit and Bhagwan clocked 7:04.61 to win bronze in their event at the JSC Lake.Earlier, Dushyant won the country its first rowing medal at the ongoing Games, claiming a bronze in men’s lightweight single sculls. Korea’s Hyunsu Park and Hong Kong’s Chun Gun Chiu won the gold and silver medals respectively. 

Dushyant, who was declared the best rower in the 2013 National Championships, finished third on the podium with a timing of 7.18.76 as India enjoyed a good beginning on the sixth day of competition.

BOPANNA-SHARAN PAIR LANDS MEN’S DOUBLES GOLD:

On tennis courts, top seeds Bopanna and Sharan notched up their maiden men’s doubles gold medal at the Games, dominating the final clash with a thoroughly clinical performance. Bopanna and Sharan defeated Aleksander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4 in 52 minutes.

Less than 20 minutes into the match, the Indians were 4-1 ahead, breaking Bublik and Yevseyev at the very first opportunity they got. In no time, the top seeds were serving for the set with a 5-3 lead and Bopanna’s booming serve wrapped it up in style for them. The Kazakhs had their moments but were undone by erratic play -- a brilliant cross-court backhand winner one moment and a powerless return buried in the nets the very next minute.

In contrast, Bopanna and Sharan’s easy camaraderie shone through in the match and they displayed near-perfect on-court co-ordination.Bopanna was particularly formidable from the baseline, displaying a good range of strokes to pull off some tough winners, helped by his brute power.

The second set went slightly better for Bublik and Yevseyev but they just could not rein in the unforced errors, including a double fault in the fifth game which could have cost them.The Kazakhs had the faster legs between the two pairs but the Indians had the experience to negate that.

At 3-3, Bopanna and Sharan clinched the all-important break to go up and though they were pushed a bit in the very next game, the top seeds held serve to grab a 5-3 lead.The Kazakhs held on in the next game but it only delayed the inevitable.

Serving for the match at 40-0, Bopanna didn’t really come up with the booming serve but the Kazakhs had been deflated enough and a feeble return went into the nets to give India the first tennis gold of the ongoing event. India have claimed the men’s doubles gold on four occasions at the Games, the last pair being Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh in the 2010 Guangzhou edition.

Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes remain the most successful Indian men’s doubles pair in the Asian Games history, having claimed back-to-back gold medals in the 2002 and 2006 Games. In 2014, Saketh Myneni and Sanam had ended with a silver medal.