CWG: Sushil-Led Wrestling Team Dominates in India's Best Show
Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar spearheaded a sparkling show as Indian grapplers dominated the wrestling arena with three gold medals after the shooters ended their campaign on a rousing note with five more podium finishes on sixth day of competitions in the 20th Commonwealth Games here today.
With 10 medals, including three gold, this was India's best show in this edition of the mega-event.
Sushil expectedly bagged gold in men's 75kg freestyle category while Amit Kumar won the yellow metal in men's 57kg. In the women's section, Vinesh Phogat finished on top in 48kg at the SECC Hall.
Rajeev Tomar, however, had to settle for a silver in the men's 125 kg freestyle event after going down to Canada's Korey Jarvis 0-3 in the finals.
Late in the evening, Chandrakant Mali clinched the bronze medal in men's 94kg weightlifting to add to the country's overall tally in the sport in the ongoing edition.
Mali, who totalled 338, lifted 146kg, 150kg and 153kg in three attempts in snatch and and 183kg, 188kg and 194 kg in clean and jerk to finish third on the podium.
Earlier, Indian shooters continued to dominate the Barry Buddon Centre with the unassuming Sanjeev Rajput and Harpreet Singh clinching a silver medal each but there was heartbreak for Olympic silver winner Vijay Kumar.
Star marksman Gagan Narang had to be contend with a bronze while Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Lajja Gauswami, too, finished third on the podium, as the Indian shooting team finished with an impressive tally of 17 medals (4- 9- 4) from the Games.
The wrestlers though took the limelight away with their stunning show on the mat.
The 31-year-old Sushil asserted his class as he won all his four bouts of the day quite comfortably.
In the gold-medal bout against Qamar Abbas of Pakistan, Sushil had an easy outing. Even before one could blink, the contest was over as the Indian pinned down his rival to clinch the gold with a 8-0 scoreline in under two minutes.
In no time, Sushil raced to a 6-0 lead and added two more points to finish off the contest.
Amit Kumar defeated Ebikweminomo Welson of Nigeria 6-2 in his final bout. The 20-year-old Indian started off well and completely dominated the first round to post a comfortable 4-0 win.
The Nigerian, however, fought back and the two wrestlers gave each other a tough time in the next round and they could bag just two points each.
But due to four points in his kitty already from the opening round, the youngster from India prevailed over his opponent to pocket the yellow metal.
In what turned out to be a close battle between Vinesh and England's Yana Rattigan in the finals of the women's 48kg event, the Indian won 11-8.
Vinesh was down 2-4 in the first round and was facing a tough challenge from her English opponent. But she managed to earn two points to tie it at 4-4 before she could put her rival down again to bag another two just in time to wrap up the opening round 6-4.
The second round was also a fierce contest but the Indian somehow maintained her composure to earn the second gold for the country in wrestling.
Tomar failed to do much in his gold-medal bout, as he failed to earn even a single point. His Canadian rival, meanwhile, could snatch a few technical points in his favour to eke out a narrow 3-0 win and bag the gold.
After today's showing, India's medals tally went upto 36 with 10 gold, 15 silver and 11 bronze, but they slipped a place to sixth after having regained the fifth position.
Before the wrestlers' show, shooter Narang, the biggest Indian name in the fray, failed to defend his gold in the men's 50m rifle 3 position on the concluding day of the shooting events.
The 31-year-old Narang, who had won a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics in 10m air rifle event, shot 423.3 while Rajput aggregated 436.8 in the final held under windy conditions at the Barry Buddon Shooting Center at Dundee near here.
Rajput and Narang were trailing at third and fifth after the three rounds of kneeling competition, each round having five shots. They were fourth and sixth respectively after the completion of three rounds of prone competition.
But both made a remarkable recovery in the standing position to bag the silver and bronze respectively.
Harpreet survived two rounds of nerve-wrecking shoot-off and brushed aside a penalty point docked on him to claim silver in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol event.
In boxing, Indian pugilist L Sarita Devi advanced to the quarterfinals after winning in women's 57-60 kg opening bout but it was curtains for defending champion Manoj Kumar, who lost his last 8 bout.
Sumit Sangwan too lost his quarterfinals bout to David Nyika of New Zealand 1-2. Sangwan was leadin g after the first round but lost the plot thereafter.
Sarita knocked out Nigeria's Kehinde Obareh 2-0 in the last 16 clash. The 32-year-old Manipuri boxer notched up 10:9 points in both the rounds.
The Indian will next take on Welsh Charlene Jones in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
For Manoj Kumar, in the men's lightweight 64kg bout, the Games ended rather early as he proved to be no match for England's Samuel Maxwell, who registered a 3-0 victory over his opponent from India. The Englishman won with identical scorelines of 27:30 in each of the three rounds.
Shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and R M V Gurusaidutt won their respective matches to enter the men's singles Round of 32. Srikanth had an easy Round of 64 outing as he took just 15 minutes to defeat St. Helena's Duane March 21-3 21-4 at the Emirates Arena.
Gurusaidutt also had an easy match as he posted a 21-5 21-12 win in 24 minutes against Benjamin Pui Hun Li of the Isle of Man. He will next face Edwin Ekiring.
In shooting, the 33-year-old Harpreet from Haryana saved India from disaster by bagging the silver after Olympic silver medallist Vijay failed to qualify for the final round after finishing seventh in the qualification. Only the top six in the qualification round qualify for the final.
Harpreet, who topped the qualification round, hit 21 times on the target in the six-shooter final which had eight rounds of five shots each.
Manavjit bagged a bronze medal in the men's trap event.
Manavjit finished third in the semi-finals after hitting 13 of the maximum 15 targets. He then beat renowned shooter Michael Diamond of Australia in the bronze medal match.
In the bronze medal match, both Manavjit and Diamond hit 11 targets out of the 15. It required a 'shoot-off' where the Indian was on target to clinch a podium finish.
Later in the day, Gauswami aggregated 436.1 to bag the bronze medal in women's 50-metre rifle 3 position.
However, London Olympic silver medallist Vijay made a shock exit in the qualification round of the men's 25m rapid fire pistol event.
Vijay shot a total of 555 points in the two qualification rounds to finish seventh and miss out on a place in the final round. The top six in the qualification round qualify for the final round
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