CWG: Boxing golds, men’s triple jump 1-2 help country move up to fourth place on medals table
New Delhi, August 7, 2022
It rained medals for India and it rained in all hues. Triple jumpers rewrote the script with a stunning 1-2 , the Women's Hockey team returned to the podium for a bronze after 16 years, and pugilists garnered three gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday.
With these, the country leapfrogged over New Zealand to the fourth spot, one below their third-place finish at the previous Gold Coast Games so far.
With nine medals already won on the day, India’s tally now stands at 17 gold, 13 silver and 19 bronze medals for a total of 49 medals.
The boxing gold rush began with Nitu Ghanghas beating the host country’s Demie-Jade Rezstan 5-0 in a unanimous points decision in the women’s 48kg (Minimum weight) category, India’s 14th of the campaign.
Amit Panghal in the men’s 48kg-51kg (Flyweight) division took the same 5-0 route displaying clear supremacy against another English boxer, Kiaran MacDonald.
World champion Nikhat Zareen then made it 17 golds for India beating Carly McNaul of Northern Ireland in yet another 5-0 verdict.
In Athletics action at the Alexander Stadium, Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker made history in the men’s triple jump, plotting an incredible 1-2 finish. Eldhose, fresh from his Athletics world championship final exploits, hopped, stepped and jumped 17.03m in his third attempt to clinch gold.
Aboobacker came close to his teammate with a 17.02m in his fifth attempt but that was the best he would go. Ja-Nhai Perinchief of Bermuda stopped an Indian clean sweep of the medals, taking bronze with a best of 16.92m as Praveen Chithravel, the third Indian in the fray, missed out to settle for fourth with 16.89m.
Sandeep Kumar made it seven medals from Athletics with a bronze in the men’s 10km walk. His effort of 38:49:21 was a personal best. Amit however finished 12th in the race.
Then it was Annu Rani’s turn in the women’s javelin throw final. She won bronze, the eighth athletics medal, for the country with a throw of 60.00m. Shilpa Rani was seventh with an effort of 54.62m. However, the 4*100m women’s relay team finished fifth in the final to miss out on a medal.
Indian women won a hockey medal at the CWG after 16 years, when they dominated their bronze medal game against New Zealand but eventually won by shootout. The girls in blue had far more circle penetrations and chances created. They went ahead with under two minutes to go for the second quarter to end, when Salima Tete scored with an audacious reverse scoop.
That remained in the lead till 18secs to go for finish, when the Kiwis were awarded a penalty stroke for a foot behind the goalkeeper from a melee off a penalty corner. Olivia Merry made no mistake and the game went into a shootout.
Megan Hull began confidently for the Kiwis as Sangita missed India’s opener. But then captain Savita came to the fore and pulled off three saves as the Kiwis missed the next four. Sonika and Navneet Kaur (who was the woman of the match) scored for India as the squad erupted with joy. It was their first CWG bronze in 16 years.
In Badminton, the final surge began with P. V. Sindhu beating Singapore’s Jia Min Yeo 21-19, 21-17 to make the women’s singles finals and ensure her third CWG medal.
India number one Lakshay Sen also reached the men’s singles finals with a 2-1 win over Singapore’s Jia Heng Teh. He won the first game easily 21-10 but Jia hit back to win the second 21-18. Lakshay then showed his class to win the third 21-16 to enter his first CWG final.
All hopes of an all-India final were dashed however when Srikanth Kidambi went down 1-2 in his semi-final to Malaysian Tze Yong Ng, despite winning the first game. The scores in the Tze’s favour read 13-21, 21-19, 21-10.
The country uffered another reverse on the badminton courts when the women’s doubles pairing of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand tripped 0-2 in their semi-final against Malaysians Pearly Taan Koong Le and Thinnah Muralitharan. The game scores were 21-13, 21-16 in the latter’s favour.
Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty then brought good news again making it through to the men’s doubles final with a classy 21-6, 21-15 victory over Chan Peng Soon and Tan Kian Meng of Malaysia.
In table tennis in the men’s doubles final the crack pairing of Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan lost to England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford. 11-8, 8-11, 3-11,11-7,4-11.
Sreeja Akula missed out, going down 3-4, fighting till the end against Australian Liu Yangzi in her bronze medal match, 11-3, 6-11, 2-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-9 and 7-11.