Asian Games: Advani wins gold, shooters add to the tally (Roundup)November 14th, 2010 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS
Guangzhou, Nov 14 (IANS) Pankaj Advani fought back from a perilous position to pocket India’s first gold medal after the shooters brought in a silver and a bronze on the second day of competition at the Asian Games here Sunday. A little later, fellow cueist Alok Kumar had to settle for a bronze in 8-ball pool, losing in the semifinals.
After winning four medals through the day, India are in sixth position with one gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Advani had to battle it out with Myanmar’s OO Nay Thway Oo over five frames 3-2 to retain the English billiards singles title he won at the Doha Games four years ago. The Bangalorean lost the opening and third frames before regaining his touch to put it across the Maynmarian 33-100, 100-61, 12-101, 101-4, 100-45.
India began the day with the customary medals from the Aoti Shooting Range, Vijay Kumar winning the men’s 10 metres air pistol bronze before Heena Sidhu, Annu Raj Singh and Sonia Rai targeted the women’s 10 metres air pistol silver.
Vijay, who won three gold medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games last month, logged 680.4 points (579+101.4).
In the team event, Vijay (579), Gurpreet Singh (573) and Omkar Singh (568) shot 1,720 failed to pool in their resources enough for a medal and finished fourth. Vijay alone just about made the final cut as eighth qualifier to get into medal contention.
Vijay could not muster enough ammunition to stop South Korean Lee Dae-Myung (685.8) from winning the gold and China’s Tan Zonglian (684.5) the silver.
South Korea also won the team gold with Dae-myung (585), Jin Jongoh (581) and Lee Sangdo (580) toting up 1,746 points. Chinese Zongliang (585), Pu Qifeng (580) and Pang Wei (578) shot 1,743 for the silver while Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsuda (577), Kojiro Horimizu (575) and Susumu Kobayashi (572) totalled 1,724 to grab the bronze.
In the women’s 10 metres pistol event, the trio of Henna (381), Annu Raj (380) and Sonia (379) shot a cumulative 1,140 and lost the gold medal race by a point to South Koreans Yunmi Gim (383), Byunghee Kim (379) and Ho Lim Lee (379). The Chinese team of Sun Qi (385), Guo Wen Jun (382) and Su Yu Ling (372) claimed the bronze with 1,139 points.
Despite the podium finish in the team event, none of the Indian girls qualified for the final of the individual event. Heena, a gold medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, lost in the shoot-off after she was tied with two other shooters for the eighth place with 381 points.
It was left to Advani show his class and fetch the gold, pipping Thway in a nerve-wracking final.
Thway, who downed legendary Singaporean Peter Gilchrist in the semi-final, bounced back to win the third frame 101-12 and took a crucial 2-1 lead.
Advani, the 2008 World Billiards Champion, had earlier expressed reservations about the shortened format and said “there is no room for mistakes and the format comes across like 10-over cricket where anything can happen”. And he did just that in the remaining two frames.
The 25-year-old Indian showed remarkable resilience in rallying with a flawless game to clinch the issue.
“I took a break when I was 1-2 down and heard that we have won another silver. And If I lose it will be the third one. I told myself ‘No, not again’. I decided to hang in there. I was sure that everything will work out well,” Advani said.
“After the break, everything worked well for me. He had two-three chances at 2-2 to close the match which he did not take. I got one opportunity in the final frame and I made the most of it.”
“There are times when you need to take that extra risk. I took calculated risks and it paid off in the end.”
“I have seen that whenever I think that I should win easily, I run into trouble. I was looking at the crowd and thinking they would be lauhging at us for missing easy shots.”
Alok Kumar also looked good for more than the bronze he got when he entered the semifinal, defeating Indonesian Ricky Yang 7-4. But could do no better against Po-Cheng Kuo 5-7 than settling for a bronze.
In tennis, Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh won their singles matches against Thailand to take India to the semifinal of the men’s team event with a 2-1 victory.
Sanam dispatched Kittiphong Wachiramanowong 6-1, 6-4 in the first rubber and then Somdev, world no.106 and Commonwealth gold medallist, sealed the issue for India after carving out a fighting 7-5, 7-5 victory over 464th-ranked Danai Udomchoke.
Vishnu Vardhan and Karan Rastogi, however, lost to Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana 6-3, 3-6, 2-6 in the doubles match. India, seeded fourth, next play top seeds Chinese Taipei.
In table tennis, ace paddler Sharath Kamal, ranked 48, shocked world no. 29 Japanese Kenta Matsudaira 11-7, 12-10, 11-6, but the effort was not enough for the men’s team to get past a formidabe Japan, who won the quarterfinal match 1-3 in the team championships.
The women’s team were handed over a crushing 0-3 defeat by top-seeds China in the quarterfinals.
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Tags: 8 ball pool, air pistol, asian games, bronze medals, commonwealth games, doha games, english billiards, gold medals, gurpreet singh, medal contention, omkar, pankaj advani, perilous position, raj singh, sangdo, shot 1, sixth position, team gold, tomoyuki, vijay kumar