Gold pours in for India from shooting, track-and-field at South Asian Games

The Indian contingent has so far garnered 237 medals, including 139 gold, 78 silver and 20 bronze.

Gold pours in for India from shooting, track-and-field at South Asian Games

Guwahati: The star-studded shooting squad was expectedly on target, while the track-and-field athletes continued their golden run as India held on firmly to the top spot by remaining way ahead of competition on the sixth day of the 12th South Asian Games here today.

Hitting a double century of medals, the Indian contingent has so far garnered 237 medals, including 139 gold, 78 silver and 20 bronze.

Consistent at the second position are the Sri Lankans with 151 medals -- 25 gold, 50 silver and 76 bronze in all.

Pakistan occupied the third spot with 72 medals -- 7 gold, 22 silver and 43 bronze.

The track and field athletes once again were the biggest contributors to India's gold haul, picking up 11 today.

Suman Devi (women's javelin), Renjith Maheswary (men's triple jump), Om Prakash Karhana (men's shot put), P U Chitra (women's 1500m), Ajoy Kumar Saroj (men's 1500m), Jauna Murmu (women's 400m hurdles), Dharun Ayyasamy (men's 400m hurdles), L Surya (women's 10,000m), Srabani Nanda (womens' 200m) and men's and women's 4x400 relay teams were the ones to strike gold in the track and field arena.

India dominated the shooting ranges too grabbing all the five gold medals on offer.

However, Olympic bronze-medallist Gagan Narang had to be content with a silver in men's individual 50m rifle prone event on the second day of the shooting competitions.

'Gold finger' Samaresh Jung rolled back the years as he won the gold in men's individual 25m center fire pistol event at the Kahilipara Shooting Range here.

Narang, who won a bronze in 10m air rifle in 2012 Olympics, was leading till the fifth series but could not sustain it till the end.

Compatriot Chain Singh caught up with Narang in the sixth series before running away with the gold. Chain Singh shot a total of 184.1, while Narang had 183.1. Umar Siddique of Pakistan took the bronze.

Later, the Indian team comprising Chain Singh, Narang and Surendra Singh Rathod, won the gold in 50m rifle prone event with a total score of 1871.5. Pakistan and Sri Lanka took the silver and bronze.

In men's 25m center fire pistol, Jung, who last won an individual medal in a top event in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, beat the likes of Pemba Tamang and Vijay Kumar to win the gold.

Jung, who was best known for his stupendous five gold winning performance in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, shot a total of 580 points to clinch the gold in a tough field.

Tamang took the bronze with a total shot of 579 points while Vijay, who won a silver in 25m rapid fire pistol event in the London Olympics, got the bronze after a shoot off as three marksmen ended at 577 points.

The 45-year-old Jung, who was part of the Indian bronze winning team in 10m air rifle in 2014 Asian Games in Guangzhou, said that he would continue his shooting career and look ahead at the Commonwealth, Asian and Olympic Games.

"I could not qualify for the Rio Olympics and there are no more qualification events now. I will look ahead for the next Olympics. There is Asian Games and Commonwealth Games also," he told PTI after winning the gold.

"Today, I did well and won the gold. I felt good. The score was also good. I will continue shooting," he added.

Indians swept the individual event of the women's 50m rifle prone event while also winning the team gold.

Kuheli Ganguly bagged the gold with a total score of 619.9, while Lajja Gauswami and Anuja Jung grabbed the silver and bronze with 608.2 and 607.5 points, respectively.

The trio of Ganguly, Gauswami and Jung then took the gold in the team event, leaving the silver and bronze for Pakistan and Sri Lanka, respectively.

It was not any different on the tennis courts where India bagged the remaining two gold medals on offer to cap a memorable cleansweep.

Ramkumar Ramanathan beat compatriot Saketh Myneni 7-5 6-3 in the men's singles final to clinch gold on the concluding day of the tennis event at the All Assam Tennis Association Grounds.

In the women's doubles final, also an all-Indian affair, the duo of Prarthana Thombre and Sharrmadaa Baluuishika took the gold after defeating the pair of Rishika Sunkara and Natasha Palha 7-5 2-6 10-4 in the final.

Indians won all the gold and silver medals on offer in five events -- men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles. Remarkably, finals of the five events were all-Indian affairs. 

Yesterday, the Indians had won gold medals in women's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles to completely dominate the event.

In men's doubles, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Vijay Prasanth had won gold after beating the pair of Divij Sharan and Sanam Singh 6-3 6-4.

Ankita Rana had won the gold in women's singles in another all-Indian final. Raina had easily beaten Prerna Bhambri 6-1 6-0 in the final.

Ankita and Divij Sharan had bagged the gold in mixed doubles after beating another Indian combine of Sanam Singh and Prarthana Thombre 6-2 7-6 (3) in the final.

There was slight disappointment on the football field though where the defending champion Indian women's team was held to yet another goalless draw, this time by a resilient Nepal who thus confirmed their final berth for a second successive time.

Two days after pumping in five past Sri Lanka, India failed to find the target even once, quite similar to how they had fared against Maldives in their opening match.

With two wins and the draw, the last year's runners-up advanced into the final with seven points.

India (five points) face Bangladesh (six) in what will be the last match for both nations Saturday to decide which team will face Nepal in the summit clash February 15.

In women's hockey final, a rampaging India stamped their formidable superiority in women's hockey in the region as they steamrolled Sri Lanka 10-0 in the summit clash to clinch gold in the 12th South Asian Games here today.

Rani Rampal struck four times as India continued with the ruthless mauling of their opponent till the end of their campaign.

The Sri Lankans were left bruised and battered as they could not resist the goal-hungry Indian girls who were coming from everywhere at the Moullana Tayabullah Hockey Stadium here.

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