Shooters, swimmers shine as India consolidate dominance

Shooters and swimmers hogged the limelight by sharing the spoils as India clinched eight out of 10 gold medals at stake on the eighth day to consolidate their dominance at the top with 67 medals in the 11th South Asian Games.

Dhaka: Shooters and swimmers hogged the
limelight by sharing the spoils as India clinched eight out of
10 gold medals at stake on the eighth day to consolidate their
dominance at the top with 67 medals in the 11th South Asian
Games on Friday.

India also bagged three silver and one bronze today to
aggregate 40 gold, 17 silver and 10 bronze medals so far.

Pakistan remained on second spot with 31 medals (six
gold, 16 silver, nine bronze). Bangladesh are third with five
gold, 10 silver and 19 bronze medals.

In a late match, India lost to Afghanistan in basketball
final at the indoor complex at Dhanmondi to settle for silver.
Incidentally, it was the first gold for Afghanistan.
Bangladesh bagged the bronze.

Indian shooters continued their golden run sweeping all
the four yellow metals at stake today to assert their
supremacy. They also bagged two silver medals.

Swimmers made a splash on the pool, bagging four out of
the five gold on offer and one bronze and in the process
shattered three SA Games records.

In hockey, India were held by Bangladesh 3-3 in their
last round-robin match but they finished on top to set up a
summit clash against Pakistan.

Pugilists began their campaign on a high when Amandeep
Singh (light weight) and Suranjoy Singh Mayengbam (fly weight)
ensured medals by reaching semifinals.

The men`s footballers, however, disappointed making a
semifinal exit after losing to hosts Bangladesh by an 85th
minute solitary goal.

Indian shooters swept all the four gold medals at stake
on the fourth day of shooting competition today. They also
bagged two silver to swell their total haul of medals in
shooting to 15 gold, eight silver and four bronze.

Army shooter Om Prakash was the star Indian performer at
the National Shooting Complex range at Gulshan, bagging four
gold medals in 10m air pistol today. Yesterday, he won a gold
in 50m air pistol.

Indian 50m rifle prone shooter Surinder Singh Rathod also
equalled the previous South Asian Games record score when he
shot 593 for the gold medal.

Having bagged the top honours in individual and team 50m
pistol yesterday, Om Prakash shot 679.2 in the 10m air pistol
team en route to his third gold.

Another Indian Amit Kumar (673.7) bagged silver, while T
D S Fernando of Sri Lanka (662.2) settled for bronze.

Om Prakash then struck his fourth gold when he, along
with Amit and Sikandar Mann, shot a total of 1716 for the 10m
air pistol team gold.

In the 50m rifle prone, Surinder Singh Rathod took the
gold while Hariom Singh (591) earned India the second silver.
Local lad Ramzan Ali (589) settled for bronze.

The trio of Rathod, Singh and Devesh Panwar (1766) had a
top finish for the team gold, while Bangladesh (1746) and Sri
Lanka (1745) had a close silver-bronze finish.

At National Swimming Complex at Mirpur, Indians pocketed
four out of five gold on offer with three meet records by
Shubha Chittaranjan (women`s 50m butterfly), Sandeep Sejwal
(men`s 200m breaststroke) and Aaron D`Souza (men`s 100m

Beijing Olympian Rehan Poncha earned India the first
swimming gold with a timing of 2:12.65s in the men`s 200m
Individual Medley.

India earned the second swimming gold in 50m butterfly
when Shubha Chittaranjan finished way ahead of her nearest
rival Miniruwani Shashiprabha Samarakoon of Sri Lanka.

The Indian clocked 29.49s eclipsing the previous SA Games
record of 29.71, while the Lankan had an effort of 32.12s.
Pakistan`s Kiran Khan (32.18s) settled for the bronze medal.

Making it a hat-trick of gold in swimming, Olympian
Sandeep Sejwal clocked 2:21.03s to shatter the previous best
(2:27) by a big margin en route to gold in 200m breaststroke.

Local lad Mohammad Kamal Hossain (2:27.54) finished
second, while India also bagged a bronze in the same event
through Anoop Augustine who clocked 2:29.99s.

Aaron D`Souza then swam 100m freestyle with a timing of
52.48s to better the previous best of 52.71s for the fourth
gold medal.

In the women`s 50m breaststroke, India`s Poorva Kiran
Shetty disappointed finishing fifth in a field of eight.

In basketball, India lost to Afghanistan 64-65 in a
thrilling match which went down the wire. For Afghanistan, it
was their first gold in the Games.

Trailing 35-44 at half-time, Indians recovered well in
the second half and took a 63-62 lead before Jagdeep Singh
faltered to dunk twice as the Afghans clinched the issue.

In boxing, India had a fine start with both the pugilists
making it to the semifinals. In light flyweight (48kg),
Amandeep Singh knocked down Chaminda Tennakoon 10-3.

Suranjoy Singh beat Mohammad Ohiduzzaman of Bangladesh
9-1 in fly weight (51kg) to make it to the semifinals.

Led by Pune FC striker Jeje Lalpekhula, Indian men`s
football team had a miserable outing against Bangladesh who
scored through Tawhidul Alam in 85th minute to reach final.

Just five minutes before the final whistle, Alam scored
from a second attempt after Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh
Sandhu failed to hold the ball.

In hockey, India trailed 0-2 after Bangladesh scored in
the 20th and 30th minutes through Kamruzzaman and Pushkor

India came back strongly with three goals to lead 3-2 by
the 67th minute. Seniormost pro V Raghunath converted a
penalty corner in the 52nd minute before Mohammad Aamir Khan
restored parity in the 59th minute. In the 67th minute,
Dharamvir Singh slammed the board to give India the lead.

However, their joy was shortlived as two minutes later
Bangladesh scored through Mostafa to hold the Indians.

Despite the draw, India finished on top with three wins
and one draw in the round-robin league. Pakistan, who had
earlier lost to India, finished second with three wins.