India breach double hundred in medal count, century mark in gold in South Asian Games
India breached the 200-mark in total medal count, backed by a century of gold, in the South Asian Games as the country’s juggernaut as undisputed leader continued with the swimmers and wrestlers producing strong performances on Day 6 on Saturday. With a whopping 49 medals, including 29 gold, won by the Indians on Saturday, India has left hosts Nepal far behind in the second spot. India’s medal tally stood at 214 (110 gold, 69 silver, 35 bronze) as against 142 (43 gold, 34 silver, 65 bronze) of Nepal.
Sri Lanka stood at third with 170 medals (30 gold, 57 silver, 83 bronze). The swimmers led India’s charge on Saturday by winning 7 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze as they completely dominated the pool yet again.
Srihari Nataraj (100m backstroke), Richa Mishra (800m freestyle), Siva S (400 individual medley), Maana Patel (100m backstroke), Chahat Arora (50m backstroke) , Likith SP (50m breaststroke) and Rujuta Bhatt (50m freestyle) all grabbed the top honours. A V Jayaveena (50m breaststroke) and Ridhima Veerendrakumar (100m back stroke) won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
After Saturday’s dominating show, India’s total medal count from this discipline has gone up to 30. On the first two days, the swimmers had won 21 medals in total. Indian wrestlers also began their competition with a bang as they won four gold on the opening day.
Satyawart Kadian (men’s 97kg freestyle), Sumit Malik (men’s 125kg freestyle), Gurshanpreet Kaur (women’s 76kg) and Sarita Mor (women’s 57kg) all won gold in their respective events to ensure that India ruled the mat. Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kadian floored his Pakistani opponent Tabiyar Khan while national champion Gurshanpreet won gold in her first international competition after seven years.
Shooters also continued their dominating show by clinching three gold on the penultimate day of competitions. Anish Bhanwala won the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol gold and then teamed up with Bhabesh Shekhawat and Adarsh Singh to win the men’s team event title. Mehuli Ghosh and Yas Vardhan pocketed the third shooting gold of the day for India in 10m air rifle mixed event.
The weightlifters added two gold on Saturday, taking their overall medal haul to 10 medals (9 gold, 1 silver). Sharsti Singh lifted a total of 190kg to finish on top of the podium in 81kg weight category while Anurudha won gold in women’ 87kg category with a total effort of 200kg. India won eight medals but without a gold on the final day of track and field competitions. Rashpal Singh (men’s marathon), Muhammad Afsal (men’s 800m), Shivpal Singh (men’s javelin throw) and the men’s 4x400m relay team won a silver each.
Sher Singh (men’s marathon), Jyoti Gawate (women’s marathon), Sharmila Kumari (women’s javelin throw) and women’s 4x400m relay race team clinched a bronze each. India thus ended the athletics competition with a whopping 47 medals (12 gold, 20 silver, 15 bronze).
In squash, three Indians made it to the finals to ensure themselves of at least a silver medal each. Sunayna Kuruvilla and Tanvi Khanna will face each other in an all-Indian women’s singles final after winning their respective semifinal matches while Harinder Pal Sandhu also cruised into the finals of the men’s singles event.