Birmingham: A historic gold medal in lawn bowls, followed by the men’s table tennis team defending it’s gold medal from 2018 and a silver medal by weightlifter Vikas Thakur in men’s 96kg made it India’s day at the Commonwealth Games here on Tuesday. The two gold and one silver on the day took India’s tally at Birmingham to 12 medals — five gold, four silver and three bronze medals to move up to sixth in the medals table.
The Women’s Fours of Lovely Choubey, Pinki, Nayan Moni Saikia and Rupa Rani Tirkey made history for India by bagging a maiden gold medal in lawn bowls, beating South Africa 17-10 in a well-contested final, banking on their positive sprits, hard work, determination and steely nerves to script the best day for the county in this little-known sport. “We kept our nerves, kept motivating each other and did not allow the occasion to get the better of us South Africa played well, came back to take lead towards the end of the match but we were determined to win,” said the Lovely Choubey.
This was India’s fourth gold medal at Birmingham and the men’s table tennis team of Achanta Sharad Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty added another gold medal to the tally by defeating Singapore in the final 3-1 in the final. Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran set the ball rolling with a dominant doubles win as India wrapped up a 3-1 victory over the bronze medallists from four years ago. Zhe Yu Clarence Chew delivered Singapore’s only success by beating Achanta Sharath Kamal to level the contest at 1-1, but singles wins for both Sathiyan and Desai landed India the gold.
Sharath Kamal said, “Last time we had the same amount of pressure. This time we’ve had good teams around (us) and really Singapore did a fantastic job beating England (in the semifinals) yesterday. Vikas Thakur bagged India’s eight medal from the weightlifting arena when he lifted a total of 384 kgs to win the silver in the men’s 96 kg to win silver medal behind Dan Opeloge of Samoa, who lifted a massive 381kg to take gold medal setting a few Commonwealth Games records in the process
There were some disappointments too as woman lifter Punam Yadav faltered to end with a no-lift in women’s 76kg as he made a mistake and put down the weights before the judges had pressed the okay button. Puran, gunning for a hat-trick of medals in Commonwealth Games after winning in 2014 and 2018, was placed in good position to go for the medal after lifting 98kg in snatch. But she could not lift 116kg in three attempts and was left disappointed.
There was also disappointment in women’s hockey when India went down 1-3 to England and were placed third in the pool behind table toppers England and Canada, who too have six points but have better goal difference to be placed higher. There were some good news from track and field as Murali Sreeshankar, Mohd. Anees Yahiya qualified for the men’s long jump with efforts of 8.05 metres and 7.68 respectively. In women’s discus throw, Sunita Poonia qualified for the final along with Navjeet Kaur.