India’s regional supremacy went unchallenged as the hosts were crowned overall champions for the 12th consecutive time after notching up a record-breaking haul of 308 medals, dominating the final day of competitions as well in the South Asian Games at Shillong on Tuesday.
With women boxers scooping all the three gold medals on offer and the judokas also bagging two gold and two silver on the last day of the Games, India’s final tally came to 188 gold, 90 silver and 30 bronze medals.
It was a massive jump in medal count for the Indians, who had won 175, including 90 gold, in the previous edition of the Games in 2010.
At the distant second spot were Sri Lanka with a haul of 186 medals (25 silver, 63 silver and 98 bronze). Pakistan held on to the third spot with a final count of 106 medals (12 gold, 37 silver and 57 bronze).
On the final day of competitions, action was restricted to this hill town where women boxers and judokas fought their summit bouts.
First off the blocks were pugilists, who ensured that India scored a ‘Perfect 10’ in boxing. After the men had scooped all the seven gold medals on offer yesterday, the women made a clean sweep today.
London Olympics bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom (51kg), former world champion L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Asian Games bronze winner Pooja Rani (75kg) picked up the top honours in their respective categories.
On a comeback trail after recovering from a shoulder injury, Mary Kom packed a powerful punch against her seasoned Sri Lankan rival Anusha Kodituwakku Dilrukshi to be adjudged winner via Technical Knockout (TKO) in a bout lasting less than 90 seconds.
With Mary landing some powerful blows, Anusha lost her balance and injured her right knee. This forced her to take a medical break before attempting a comeback.
However, a booming jab from the five-time world champion sent her almost out of the ring before the referee intervened.
The injury to Anusha will take about two-three months to heal.
However, Sarita, who was returning to competitive action after serving a one-year ban for her infamous Asian Games meltdown, had to stave off a stiff challenge from another Lankan opponent in M Vidushika Prabadhi.