Smooth sailing for India on all fronts

Wednesday was another day when India impressed at the Doha, retrieving a silver from the waters reports Ajai Masand.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 01:35 IST

Wednesday was another day when India impressed at the Doha Sailing Club. They retrieved a silver medal from the waters even though they lost the final race of the yachting regatta, the 7.5 Beneteau keel boat class, to Singapore 1-3.

There were a handful of medals coming from other venues as well: Bronze in women's hockey, a bronze in archery, where honestly the expectations were a bit higher. Bimoljit Singh lost his wushu bout to his Iranian opponent but still managed to get a bronze as there was no play-off for the third place.

The wrestlers fizzled out and could not put up a worthwhile show — the only bright spot being Yogeshwar Dutt’s bronze — and there was worse news from the squash courts where Saurav Ghoshal lost to Beng Hee Ong in the semifinals.

All this however does not take the credit away from the medal winners, particularly the sailors.

India put up a spirited show there. The Asian match racing champions lost the opening race in the one-on-one contest. They, however, clinched the next race in impressive fashion.

In fact, the team comprising captain Ramachandran Mahesh and crew Sanjeev Chauhan, Girdhari Yadav and Nitin Mongia had a chance to win the gold.

But Singapore came roaring back and beat India in the next two races to clinch the gold in the event introduced for the first time at the Games.

Both the finalists had topped the preliminary league with the same number of points but the South East Asian nation got the top spot in league standings as they had beaten India in the round-robin phase.

India, however, failed to get a medal in the 470 class event for men, an Olympic category, when experienced sailors Farokh Tarapore and Vikas Kapila finished fifth overall with 44 net penalty points despite finishing third in Wednesday's 12th and last race.

In archery, India did manage to break their Asiad jinx by claiming their first medal even though one expected something better for them. It would have been an embarrassment otherwise had India not won a medal because they were one of the favourites.

The women's team went down to China in quarterfinals, but the men managed a semifinal berth where they were halted by Taipei 210-220.

India managed to beat Malaysia 211-207 for the bronze medal.

In women's hockey, India beat South Korea 1-0 in the third place play-off to take home the bronze. Mamta Kharb scored the match-winner in the 16th minute.

First Published: Dec 14, 2006 01:35 IST