Indian swimmers and wushu players on Thursday (December 6), with their strong performances, led the country to breach the 100-medal mark by winning a whopping 56 medals on the fourth day of competitions to secure its top spot in the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu.
This is India’s best medal haul on a single day so far in the SAG with the tally consolidating to 62 gold, 41 silver and 21 bronze for a total of 124 medals to leave hosts Nepal far behind.
Nepal, who settled for the second spot has 36 gold, 27 silver and 38 bronze for a total of 101 medals, followed by Sri Lanka at third position with 107 medals (17 gold, 35 silver, 55 bronze).
Medal Tally Day V pic.twitter.com/VFruaAGIpt
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In India’s 56-medal streak on the fourth day, the visitors won 30 gold, 18 silver and 8 bronze medals which came from swimming, wushu, weightlifting and athletics.
Not much is spoken about the sport of wushu in the country, however, as many as seven yellow metals came from it, the first fetched by Suraj Singh in men’s gunshu all-round event.
Suraj’s medal-winning feat was duly continued by Y Sanathoi Devi (women’s sansou 52kg), Punam (women’s 75kg), Deepika (women’s 70kg), Sushila (women’s 65kg), Roshibina Devi (women’s 60kg) and Sunil Singh (men’s 52kg) as they clinched top spots in their respective events.
The day concluded for the Indian wushu players with O Bidyapati Chanu bagging a bronze medal in women’s sansou 56kg category.
Swimming accounted for the most medals for India on Thursday with 11, of which four were gold, six silver and one bronze.
Likith Selvaraj Prema clocked 2 minutes 14.67 seconds to win the men’s 200m breaststroke (short course) gold while compatriot Danush Suresh won the silver in 2:19.27.
India’s second gold from swimming came from Apeksha Delyla Fernandes who won the men’s 200m breaststroke (short course) with a time of 2:38.05.
Divya Satija clinched gold in women’s 100m butterfly (short course), clocking 1:02.78, before the women’s 400m freestyle relay team finished on top of the podium with a time of 3:55.17.
Indians bagged four gold medals on the first day of weightlifting competitions. Jhilli Dalabehera, who had fetched a silver in the Asian Weightlifting Championship earlier this year, lifted a total of 151 kg (66kg in snatch and 85kg in clean & jerk) to win the yellow metal in women’s under 45 kg category.
In the women’s under 49kg event, Sneha Soren bagged the top honours. The 18-year-old lifted 68kg in the snatch and followed it up by an 89kg effort in the clean and jerk category for a total of 157kg.
In the women’s 55kg event, Commonwealth Championship gold medallist Sorokhaibam Bindyarani Devi emerged victorious. The Manipuri lifted a total of 181kg to grab the top spot on the podium.
India’s fourth weightlifting gold of the day came from Siddhant Gogoi in the men’s 61 kg category for his effort of 264 kg.
Taekwondo players’ impressive show also continued as they gave India six medals — 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze. India’s participation in the taekwondo discipline in the SAG was allowed at the eleventh hour after intervention from the International Olympic Committee.
Purva Dattary Dixit (women’s 49kg), Ruchika Bhave (women’s 67kg) and Margaret Maria (women’s 73kg) bagged the gold for India while Niraj Choudhary (men’s 58kg) and Akshay Hooda (men’s 87kg) clinched a silver each. Lakshya then added a bronze in men’s 80kg category.
Track and field athletes had a relatively quieter day after leading from the front in the past two days as they pocketed six medals, including one gold, on Thursday.
Triple jumper Karthik Unnikrishnan was the lone gold winner in athletics as he cleared a distance of 16.47m while compatriot Mohammed Salahuddin jumped 16.16m to win the silver for a 1-2 finish for India.
Surender Jayakumar (men’s 110m hurdles), Aparna Roy (women’s 100m hurdles) and Priya Habbathanahally (women’s 400m) also won a silver each while KS Jeevan (men’s 400m) bagged a bronze.
(With inputs from agencies)