India’s overall medal tally at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has increased to 21 with ace pistol shooter Heena Sidhu winning gold in the women’s 25m pistol (Precision/Rapid) finals and para-powerlifter Sachin Chaudhary claiming bronze in the men’s heavyweight final on Tuesday. At least five more medals have been assured for India later this week, with boxers Amit Phangal, Naman Tanwar, Mohammed Hussamuddin, Manoj Kumar and Satish Kumar having advanced into their respective semi-finals scheduled for April 13 and the men’s and women’s hockey teams also reaching the semis. At the Belmont Shooting Centre, Heena, 28, dominated her finals with a Games record total of 38. This was the second medal of the Gold Coast Games for Heena - recipient of the Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA) Shooter of the Year award in February for her success in 2017 - after she claimed silver in the 10m air pistol event on Sunday. Overall, India’s shooting contingent have won eight medals in Australia.
India's second medal of the day, and first from the country’s para-athletic contingent at the Commonwealth Games, came from para-powerlifter Chaudhary at the Carrara Sports Arena 1. On a day where three other Indian para-powerlifters reached finals, Chaudhary went the distance in his 10-man final and finished with a combined effort of 181. Winning gold was Nigeria’s Abdulazeez Ibrahim and silver went to Malaysia’s Yee Khie Jong. In the men’s 46-49kg boxing quarter-finals, Amit defeated Scotland’s Aqeel Ahmed 4-1 to advance. Tanwar won his 91kg quarter-final against Samoa’s Fans Masoe 5-0 to progress as well, and later in the day Hussamuddin defeated his 56kg opponent 5-0 before Manoj won 4-1 in his 69kg quarter-final. After playing out a 2-2 draw with Pakistan in their opening encounter, the men's hockey team beat Wales 4-3 and with a close victory over Malaysia today, the 2014 silver medalists have made it to the final four with one group game (vs England) remaining. India opened their account as early as the third minute when Harmanpreet Singh found the net with his drag flick. Malaysia fought back well and equaliser in the second quarter via Faizal Saari’s field goal. India's midfield had a good day, constantly putting the Malaysian defence under pressure, but the forwards lacked the finishing touch. India managed to force seven penalty corners but could only convert two - the second being the winner from Harmanpreet in the 43rd minute.
A few hours later, the women’s team eliminated South Africa with a 1-0 win in which the skipper Rani Rampaul scored the goal as the fourth quarter got underway. India’s splendid work in the match - which they needed to draw to progress - was highlighted by some excellent work from the defenders and goalkeeper Savita Punia. Though they lost Lalremsiami with a yellow card with 6:46 on the clock, India did well to keep the advantage until full time. The two Indians who qualified for the 50m rifle prone men’s finals were both eliminated from the medals race. Gagan Narang, an 11-time CWG medalist, had reached the final with a qualification total of 617, but in the eight-man final was the second shooter to be eliminated. Narang, who won a shooting bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, shot a total of 142.3 in the final. In squash, the women’s doubles pair of Joshna Chinnappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik beat Pakistan’s Faiza and Madina Zafar 2-1, after which Dipika teamed up with Saurav Ghosal in the mixed doubles event to beat Guyana’s Mary Fung-a-Fat and Jason-Ray Khalil 2-0. India's another mixed doubles duo Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Sandhu got the better of Caroline Laing and Jacob Kelly of Cayman Islands 2-0 in Pool H match. In lawn bowls, India’s Krishna Xalxo beat Fiji’s Arun Kumar 21-11 in the men's singles Section A - Round 3 while the women's pair of Lovely Choubey and Rupa Rani Tireky got the better of Jersey’s Rachel MacDonald and Christine Grimes 22-12. In men's fours, India defeated Botswana 16-9 in Round 2 match. In the TT 6-10 singles group 2, Vaishnavi Sutar lost to Canada’s Stephanie Chan 0-3. Ayyasamy Dharun came in fifth in the men’s 400m hurdles round one, while swimmer Vaishnavi Jagtap finished sixth in the women’s S8 50m freestyle.
In athletics, Hima Das qualified for the women's 400m final as one of the two fastest losers. Hima finished third in her semifinal 1 with her personal best timing of 51.53 sec whereas Muhammed Anas ended up fourth in the men's 400m final with a new national record
In swimming, Vaishnavi Vinod Jagtap finished sixth in women's S8 50m freestyle final while Sajan Prakash came seventh in men's 1500m freestyle final. Others to be eliminated were the Para-Powerlifting trio of Farman Basha and Ashok Kumar, who ended at fifth and 11th place respectively in the men's lightweight final, and Sakina Khatun in the women's lightweight final.
Presented by Avinash Singh, Khel Sangram
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