India unstoppable in SAG, bag 12 out of 13 gold on offer

Shuttlers, shooters, kabaddi and volleyball teams reigned supreme as India bagged 12 gold out of the 13 on offer to continue their dominance with 55 medals at the end of the seventh day of the 11th South Asian Games.

Dhaka: Shuttlers, shooters, kabaddi and
volleyball teams reigned supreme as India bagged 12 gold out
of the 13 on offer to continue their dominance with 55 medals
at the end of the seventh day of the 11th South Asian Games
here on Thursday.

Besides the dozen gold medals, India bagged eight silver
and one bronze to end the day with 32 gold, 14 silver and nine
bronze medals, taking their total tally to 55.

Having made it an all-Indian issue in badminton, the
shuttlers earned five gold and five silver medals in the men`s
and women`s single, double, and mixed double categories to end
their campaign on a high.

The Indian Shooters had a third productive day in
succession, claiming all the four top places up for grabs.
Inspite of the gold medals, they also pocketed two silver and
one bronze medal.

Being the defending champions in men`s and women`s
kabaddi as well as in men`s volleyball, India lived up to
their reputation by bagging three gold medals.

Even though India ruled the roost in tother disciplines,
the golfers disappointed to settle for a silver.

India are also assured of a medal in handball after
setting up a summit clash against arch-rivals Pakistan.

With India sitting comfortably at the top of the medals
tally, Pakistan are a distant second with 29 medals (six gold,
15 silver and eight bronze).

Hosts Bangladesh lie in the third spot with 26 medals
(five gold, six silver and 15 bronze), while Sri Lanka have
are at the fourth spot with three gold, 11 silver and 16
bronze medals.

Indians began the day in right spirit, when shooters
bagged all the four gold medals up for grabs, including a
clean sweep in the women`s 10m air pistol event at the
National Shooting Complex range in Gulshan, about 10kms from

On the third day of shooting event, India bagged four
gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

In the women`s 10m air pistol event, India won all the
three medals with Lavleen Kaur bagging the gold (474), Sonia
Rail (473) silver and Sushma Rana (470.9) bronze.

The trio also won the team gold in the 10m air rifle
event with a score of 1126 points. The silver in this category
went to Pakistan (Mehwish Maqsood, Azra Nazir and Tazeem
Akhtar Abbasi, 1108 points) while hosts Bangladesh (Sinthia
Nazneen, Farhana Kausar and Armin Asha, 1078) bagged the

In the men`s 50m pistol event, India`s Om Prakash (547)
pocketed the gold medal, while Poshuk Ahluwalia had to be
content with the silver just one point. Kalim Ullah Khan (534)
of Pakistan took the bronze medal.

In 50m pistol team event, India emerged victorious with
1623 points.

Pakistani (Kalim Ullah Khan, Mohammad Gul Faraz and
Mohammad Shehzad Akhtar, 1586) won the silver while the bronze
went to Sri Lanka (E M Senanayake, N P N Gunadasa and T D S
Fernando, 1544).

Indian shuttlers were not far behind the shooters as they
bagged five gold and as many silver medals to end their
campaign on a high at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium courts.

Having made it an all Indian issue in the open category,
Indian shuttlers completed their formalities with a rich haul
of seven gold and five silver.

Earlier, India also bagged the top honours in the men`s
and women`s badminton team events.

Living up to their billings, national champion Chetan
Anand (men`s singles); Sayali Gokhale (women`s singles);
Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas (men`s doubles); Aparna Balan
and Shruti Kurien (women`s doubles); and Valiyaveetil Diju and
Ashwini Ponnappa (mixed doubles) clinched the gold medals in
their respective categories.

In the men`s singles summit clash, Anand beat second seed
compatriot R M V Guru Sai Dutt 21-16 21-8.

Sayali Gokhale, however, won the gold after second seeded
compatriot Trupti Murgunde, trailing 21-16 8-3, conceded the
women`s singles final match due to sickness.

In the men`s doubles final, Rupesh and Thomas were
declared winners when second seeded duo of Anand-Valiyaveetil
Diju retired after losing the first game 21-19.

The duo of Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurien beat second
seeded P C Thulasi and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-19 22-20 for the
women`s doubles title.

In mixed doubles title clash, Ashwini Ponnappa and Diju
came out victorious, defeating second seeded compatriots
Thomas and Aparna Balan 21-11 21-15.

Both the losing semifinalists Sri Lankan Dinuka
Karunaratne and Ahsan Qamar of Pakistan won the bronze medals
in men`s singles category.

While Pakistani duo of Rizwan Azam and Kashif Sulehri;
and Sri Lankan pair of Rajitha Dahanayaka and Hasitha Chanaka
Manani Hewa pocketed the bronze medals in the men`s doubles

Mighty India also defended their titles in kabaddi with
ease, claiming both the men`s and women`s gold.

Indian men outplayed arch-rivals Pakistan 29-11 to win
the gold medal while their female counterparts beat hosts
Bangladesh 34-20 to emerge champions.

Both the losing semifinalists` Bangladesh and Nepal won
the bronze medals in the men`s section.

In the women`s section, the bronze medals went to Nepal
and Sri Lanka.

In volleyball, defending champions India made a
remarkable comeback from a set deficit to beat arch-rivals
Pakistan 3-1 and claim the gold medal.

India beat Pakistan 23-25, 25-23, 25-16 in the summit
clash at the Soharwardy Indoor Stadium in Mirpur.

Sri Lanka won the bronze after beating Maldives 25-15,
25-16, 25-18 in the third-fourth place play-off match.

However, the biggest disappointment of the day was famed
Indian golfing quartet of Rashid Khan, Chikkarangappa, Rahul
Bajaj and Ashbeer Singh Saini as they found the terrain tough
and had to be satisfied with the silver medal in the team

The Indians were not at their best at the Kumirtola golf
course as they combined for a three-over 435 to settle for the

Bangladesh`s Jamal Hossain Mollah, Dulal Hossain,
Mohammad Shakahwat Sohel and Mohammad Jakiruzzaman totalled
10-under 422 to walk away with the gold.

Sri Lankan Nithun Perera, Prabagaran Kandasmy,
Chandradasha and Vijita Bandara Ranarthana had 15-over 447 for
the bronze.