Gold Coast, April 12 (IANS) Indian wrestlers won four medals, including a gold each from Sushil Kumar and Rahul Aware, while Seema and Navjeet Dhillon clinched the silver and bronze medal respectively in the women’s discuss throw and Tejaswini Sawant continued the good performance from shooters with a silver as the country took its medals tally to 31.
Women wrestlers also came to the party with Babita Kumari taking silver in the 53kg category while Kiran bagged a bronze in the 76kg division, even as the women’s hockey team lost in the semi-finals, while the shuttlers and paddlers continued to shine bright.
At the end of Thursday, India remains in the third spot with 31 medals (14 gold, 7 silver and 10 bronze) behin Australia (156 medals) and England (31 medals). Canada is fourth, accumulating 60 medals (12 gold, 29 silver, 19 bronze).
The first medal of the day was earned by Tejaswini, who notched up a score of 618.9 to take silver in the women’s 50m Rifle Prone event. Anjum Moudgil, the other Indian in the fray, produced a disappointing performance. She scored 602.2 to finish 16th in the field of 20 competitors.
Then the wrestlers took charge, with Sushil defending his crown in the men’s 74 kilogram category which he had won at the 2014 edition in Glasgow. Sushil needed just 80 seconds to overpower Johannes Botha of South Africa by technical superiority — awarded after he raced to a 10-0 lead in the final. It was Sushil’s third consecutive gold in the CWG.
Maharashtra wrestler Aware, who was appearing in his first CWG, won the gold in the men’s 57 kilogram category in style. The Maharashtra wrestler outclassed Steven Takahashi of Canada 15-7 in the final.
Babita lost 2-5 to Canada’s Diana Weicker in her last round robin match which put paid to her chances of winning a gold, while Kiran had built up a 10-0 lead in the first period itself which prompted the officials to award her the bout.
The good work was continued in the athletics events. Seema and Navjeet finished second and third spots in the discus throw. In her first attempt, Seema successfully got past the 60 metre-mark with her best throw of 60.41m to bag silver. This is her fourth successive podium finish in this event at the Games, following silver in both 2006 and 2014, and a bronze at home in Delhi in 2010.
Navjeet managed to throw her best 57.43m in her sixth attempt to sit at the third place.
Arpinder Singh and A.V. Rakesh Babu entered the final of the men’s triple jump, while Purnima Hembram was sixth at the halfway stage of the heptathlon to make it a successful day for India.
In the men’s Triple Jump, Arpinder did well during the qualification stage, taking the top spot in Group B with a best attempt of 16.39 metres. Babu on the other hand, finished fifth Group A with 15.98m to advance as one of the 12 best performers.
Purnima finished with 3,441 points after the first day of her heptathlon event. She was seventh in the shot put and was third in the 200m heat.
However, there were disappointments in hockey, with the women’s team losing 0-1 to Australia in the semi-final. Grace Stewart’s 37th-minute field goal gave the hosts the win to set-up a title clash with New Zealand, who overcame England 2-1 via a penalty shootout in the other semi-final.
India will play England in the bronze-medal playoff on Saturday at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
In badminton, star singles shuttlers P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy entered the quarter-finals, while Satwik Rankireddy, Ashwini Ponnappa and N.Sikki Reddy also enjoyed a successful day as they reached the last-eight stages in both the doubles categories.
In squash action, the mixed doubles pair of Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal and the men’s doubles combination of Vikram Malhotra and Ramit Tandon entered the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively. However, the other mixed double pair of Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Sandhu had to suffer defeats in the quarters.
In table tennis, India’s singles and doubles players outscored their respective opponents to advance while the para paddlers and Madhurika Patkar were the only disappointments on the day at the 21st Commonwealth Games here on Thursday.
Para paddlers Vaishnavi Sutar and Maitreyee Sarkar failed to qualify to the semi-finals of women’s TT6-10 singles as the former managed to win just one of her three group stage matches, while Vaishnavi failed to notch a single win to finish at the bottom of her group.
Achanta Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, G. Sathiyan, Manika Batra and Mouma Das all enjoyed in the singles and doubles actions.