Glasgow Commonwealth Games: Grapplers continue to impress, give India two more golds

Glasgow: Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Kumari breezed their way to gold medals as wrestlers continued to rule the roost by bagging an impressive two yellow metals for India on the eighth day of the 20th Commonwealth Games, here on Thursday.

While Yogeshwar (men`s 65kg freestyle) and Babita Kumari (women`s 55kg) won golds, Geetika Jhakar (women`s 63kg) failed to match her compatriots and managed a silver on the wrestling mat for India.

It was good news for India in other disciplines as well as young Dipa Karmarkar today scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games by bagging a bronze in the vault event.

By virtue of this two golds and Dipa`s bronze, India have moved have consolidated their sixth position in medal standings with a total haul of 44 medals -- 12 gold, 19 silver and 13 bronze.

England were at at the top of the chart with a total of 115 medals followed by Australia (110), Canada (56), Scotland (41) and New Zealand (39).

The Indians enjoyed a good day on the final day of wrestling competition as Yogeshwar hardly broke sweat en route to his gold medal effort by using his trademark `fitele` (leg-twisting) technique to great effect.

Yogeshwar first beat Alex Gladkov of Scotland 4-0 and then easily defeated another Scottish wrestler Gareth Jones in the quarterfinals by employing the same leg-twisting technique he had used while winning bronze in the London Olympics.

In the semifinals, Yogeshwar successfully used his favourite technique again to get the better of Sri Lanka`s Chamara Perera in just two minutes and three seconds.

Yogeshwar won with a 0-5 verdict after taking a 10-0 lead on technical points.

He continued his dominance in the final and made light work of his Canadian opponent Jevon Balfour to clinch the gold medal in just 1:53 seconds.

But it all started with Babita who completely dominated her gold medal bout against Brittanee Laverdure to seal the contest 9-2 in her favour and give India its first yellow metal of the day.

However, it was some sort of disappointment for India in the women`s 63kg as Geetika was no match for her Candian opponent Danielle Lappage. The world junior champion overpowered the Indian grappler 7-0 to pocket the gold with consummate ease.

Meanwhile, it was silver lining for India in gymnastics as 20-year-old Dipa collected 14.366 points to finish third in the women`s vault final at the SSE Hydro here.

The gold went to England`s Claudia Fragapane who got 14.633 points while Elsabeth Black was second with 14.433 points.

In the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, Ashish Kumar became the first Indian gymnast to win a medal at the CWG by winning a silver in vault and bronze in floor events.

On the hockey turf, India produced a clinical performance to breeze past South Africa 5-2 to qualify for the semi-final.

Having finished second in the pool behind defending champions Australia, India will now take on New Zealand in the semi-final while the Kookaburras are pitted against England in the other last four clash.

Indian shuttlers too had a good day in office as Parupalli Kashyap, R M V Gurusaidutt and P C Thulasi entered the quarterfinals of their respective events.

Delhi Games bronze medallist, Kashyap took just 24 minutes to get the better of Jeff Tho of Australia 21-7 21-8 in the men`s singles, while Thulasi thrashed Rachel Honderich of Canada 21-12 21-7 in a 31-minute women`s singles match.

Gurusaidutt also notched up an easy 21-13 21-9 win over Andrew D`Souza of Canada in a men`s singles match that lasted 27 minutes at the Emirates Arena here.

World No. 22 Kashyap will now take on Daren Liew, ranked 47th. Guru will face World No. 18 and top seed Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia, while Thulasi will be up against World No. 33 Jing Yi Tee.

However, it turned out to mixed results for Indian paddlers today. While ace paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj marched into the men`s doubles semifinals, Kamal and Shamini Kumaresan experienced a bitter loss against Reed and Kelly Sibley in the mixed doubles quarterfinals.

Kamal, who put up a disappointing show in India`s poor team championship campaign, remains in the medal hunt with a convincing win over England`s Danny Reed and Sam Walker 12-10 11-6 7-11 11-8 in the quarterfinals held at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.

In the mixed doubles, Kamal and Shamini fought back well after losing the plot early but eventually went down 7-11 9-11 11-5 14-12 4-11.

Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai also lost 12-10 11-9 11-8 11-8 against the mighty Singapore pairing of Gao Ning and Li Hu in another men`s doubles quarterfinal.

Earlier today, rising Indian table tennis player Manika Batra fought her way into the women`s singles quarterfinals.

Batra, the 19-year-old from Delhi, recovered from a two game deficit to beat Canadian teenager Anqi Luo 11-13 11-7 8-11 11-2 11-7 11-9 at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.

The 159th-ranked Indian meets World No.41 Ye Lin of Singapore in the quarterfinals later today.

Indian squash players Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa also will feel contended with their performances today as the duo sailed into the women`s doubles semifinals.

The fifth seeds got the better of sixth seeds Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy from New Zealand, 11-9 11-5, in their quarterfinal.

They are now a win away from assuring India`s first squash medal at the Commonwealth Games.

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