The penultimate day of the 8-Nation Invitational Lawn Bowls event being held here saw mixed results for the young and promising Indian teams.
The brand new facility at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is in complete contrast to the mess that the rest of the stadium is in, and at this top-class venue, the Indian women's team put in an exceptional effort.
Competing in the singles, pairs and triples categories, the women are one win away from playing the gold medal match in both the Triples and the Pairs.
The Triples team, comprising Rupa Rani Tirkey, Tanya Chaudhry and Delhi's Pinki Kaushik, will face England in the semifinal, and according to the experts, have a real shot at the gold. Pinki said after the game, “We hope Delhi will support and pray for us, so we can beat the best in the world and win gold for India.”
In the exciting playoff for a semifinal berth, India women beat a strong Malaysia 11-7, 3-16 via the tie-breaker. They will face South Africa on Saturday.
The only disappointment for the women was the narrow loss for Farzana Khan in the singles, but she is rated highly by her opponents and is billed as one to watch out for.
Represented by Mohammad Raja in Singles, Mahip Tirkey and Sunil in Pairs and R Gogoi, Chandan Singh and Dinesh Kumar in Triples, the men unfortunately faced much tougher competition.
India's Aussie coach Richard Gale said, “The Indian team has only been playing the sport for a couple of years, but they are playing against teams that have 10-15 years' experience.”