Asian Games: Three gold medals lift India to eighth spot (Evening Roundup)

November 21st, 2010 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Somdev Devvarman Guangzhou, Nov 21 (IANS) It was a delightful Sunday for India at the Asian Games with shooter Ronjan Singh Sodhi and long distance runners Preeja Sreedharan and Sudha Singh winning gold medals, while a silver and five bronzes during the day took the country’s tally to 33.

The three gold medals lifted India to the eight position from 14th in the medals table.

Ronjan, a double world record holder, ended India’s gold medal drought from shooting by winning the double trap event and also helped the Indian team bag the bronze medal at the Aoti Shooting Range. Sodhi’s gold was India’s third after cueist Pankaj Advani and rower Bajranj Lal Thakar.

Sodhi shot 47 in the final for a total of 186. Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum of UAE won the silver with a total of 182 points (138+44) and the bronze went to Hamad Ali Al Marri (136+45) of Qatar in a shoot-off after three shooters were tied for a third place.

The Indian trio of Sodhi (139), junior World Champion Asher Noria (134) and Vikran Bhatnagar (130) shot a total of 403 to win the team bronze.

The team gold went to Chinese trio of Pan Qiang (143), Mo Junjie (136) and Hu Binyuan (135) with a total score of 414. IOC Kuwait settled for the silver medal with the trio of Fehaid Aldeehani (137), Hamad Alafasi (136) and Meshfi Almutairi (134) shooting a total of 407.

The fourth gold for India came in style with Preeja and her compatriot Kavita Raut making a 1-2 finish in the women’s 10,000 metres at the Aoti Main Stadium. Preeja clocked a personal best timing of 31:50.47 seconds to win the first athletics gold medal for India on the opening day of the track and field events.

Kavita also registered her personal best timing of 31:51.44 secs while Shitay Habtegebrel of Bahrain finished third in 31:53.27 secs.

Sudha ended the day on a high note by winning the 30000 metres steeple chase race in a neck-and-neck finish with her personal best timing of 9:55.67 secs. The silver went to China’s Jin Yuan, who clocked 9:55.71 secs while Japan’s Minori Hayakari settled for the bronze with 10:01.25 secs.

In tennis, Sania Mirza, who had won silver in the women’s singles in Doha, had to settle for the bronze medal after she lost to third-seeded Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova 6-7(7), 3-6, 4-6 in a marathon two hours and 49 minutes.

Somdev Devvarman, however, remained on course for a gold with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over China’s Ze Zhang in the quarterfinal. The win has assured the Indian, of at least a bronze. Somdev, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, next plays Japan’s Tatsuma Ito.

Somdev, later partnering Sanam Singh, entered the men’ doubles final defeating South Korea’s Jae Cho-Soong and Hyun Joon Kim 6-3, 7-5. The sixth-seeded Indians next play second-seeded Chinese Maoxin Gong and Zhe Li for the gold.

However, it was end of road for seventh-seeded Karan Rastogi who lost 2-6, 6-4, 5-7 to top seed Dennis Istomin of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinal.

The Indian women’s archery recurve team — Dola Banerjee, Deepaki Kumari and Rimil Buriuly — won the bronze, beating Chinese Taipei 218-217 in a close contest.

In fact, the Indian team missed a golden opportunity to upset World No.1 South Korea in the semifinals as they went down in the tie breaker 29-26, having tied at 221 after four rounds of tense competition. The nerves got the better of the Indian trio, who were leading by two points after the third round, in the final round as they shot a 54 against the 56 by the fancied Koreans.

There was also some good news for India on the first day of the wrestling competition as Ravinder Singh and Sunil Kumar Rana won a bronze each.

Ravinder, the gold medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, defeated Muhammad Aliansyah of Indonesia 9-3 to win the bronze in the men’s Greco-Roman 60kg at the Huagong Gymasium.

Sunilkumar thrashed Sutep Oomchompoo of Thailand 5-0 in the men’s 66kg Greco-Roman and won India its second bronze.

Earlier, Ravinder lost 0-3 to South Korean Jihyuh Jung while Sunil Kumar was blanked 0-3 by Iranian Saeid Abdvali in the semifinals.

Sunil had beaten Yazgeldy Kadyrov of Turkmenistan 3-0 in the quarterfinals while Ravinder got the better of Nurbak Tengizabayev of Kazakhstan 3-1 to reach the last four.

Rajendra Kumar, another gold medallist in Delhi, missed out here after losing 1-3 to Shuijin Li of China in the pre-quarterfinals.

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