Indian judokas, weightlifters and cyclists landed gold medals on the third day of the 11th South Asian Games at Dhaka on Sunday.
Balvinder Singh and Vikram Solanki grabbed the gold medals in the mens 73 and 90 kg categories of the judo event at a BKSP, Savar, which is 40 k.m. away from the capital city, lifters Omkar Otari and Rustam Sarang gave India a gold and a bronze in the men’s 62 kg class.
In the morning, the men’s cycling quartet of Amandeep Singh, Harpreet Singh, Rajendra Bishnoi and Sabu Ganager, earned India gold with a time of 1:44:11.81s in the 80 km team time trial at Khulna. Pakistan (1:45:59.11s) took the silver and Bangladesh (1:46:44.11) the bronze.
Balvinder won against Pakistan’s Karamat Butt en route to the gold medal while Vikram Solanki downed his Sri Lankan rival D.K. Priyadarshana.
There was a setback for India in the weightlifting arena as the Indian entry, V. Srinivas, competing in the 56 kg class, was disqualified for failing thrice in the snatch event. In a field of five competitors,
Srinivas began after the other four finished at 102 kg. The Indian attempted to clear 103 and failed thus denying India a medal from this class.
In an interesting incident, all the three medal winners in the men’s 62 kg tied on points. India’s Omkar Otari, Pakistan’s Istiaq Ghafoor Muhammad and Rustam Sarang of India tallied 258 kg in snatch and clean and jerk. Omkar’s lesser body weight (61.30kg) gave him the gold while Ghafoor (61.47) took the silver. Rustam (61.50) had to settle for the bronze medal.
The men’s hockey team continued to flourish at the Moulana Bhasani Stadium defeating Sri Lanka 7-2 in its second match after leading 3-1 at half-time. After thrashing Nepal 21-0 in its first game, India was expected to annihilate Sri Lanka by a big margin. The Indians played cohesively but conceded the two goals against the run of play for which the credit should go to the rival team.
For India V. Raghunath (7th, 40th), Dharamvir Singh (4th), Mohammad Aamir Khan (21st and 65th), Ajitesh Roy (46th) and Pramod Kumar (52nd) were on the target. Sri Lanka captain Dhammika Abeyarathne (15th and 60th) pulled back twice. India will play Pakistan next which drubbed Nepal 19-0 in its campaign opener.
Indian shuttlers were looking for a clear sweep in the team events as both the teams made it to the finals of the team event without much difficulty. The men’s team had no difficultly in walloping host Bangladesh 5-0, the women made short work of Nepal also by the same margin.
India’s final opponent will be Sri Lanka whose ladies beat Bangladesh 5-0 and the men outplayed Nepal by an identical margin.
Oinam Bembem Devi struck a hat-trick against Pakistan to enable India win by a half a dozen goals in its second game at the National Stadium. India, which had won against Sri Lanka 8-1 in the opening game, led 5-0 at half-time.
Captain Bembem, who plays as an attacking midfielder, combined superbly with the strikers in rotating the ball in the rival’s zone.
After Sashmita Mallick drew the first blood in the seventh minute, Bembem got into the act scoring in the 10th, 11th and 17th to bamboozle the Pakistanis.
Sashmita added another in the 28th before the teams went into half-time. On resumption, Pakistan went into defensive and denied the Indian players much space and time to cause further damage. When it looked like the Indians would end the game without further success, Th. Tababi Devi struck in the injury time.
The men’s football team met with further setback when it drew with Sri Lanka at Chittagong. Having lost its first league match to Afghanistan 0-1 through Belal Arezou’s 43rd minute goal, India badly needed to win this game. With one point in its kitty, India not only will have to beat Pakistan by a big margin in the final league but hope Afghanistan defeats Sri Lanka.
Expectedly, both the Indian squash players Sandeep Jangra and Gaurav Nandrajog lost to higher-ranked Pakistani opponents and would contest for the bronze medal.
The Indian kabaddi teams won their opening round-robin league matches comfortably. The men outclassed Nepal 57-13 and the women thrashed Sri Lanka 47-19.
Indian men spikers won their second consecutive match defeating Afghanistan 25-11, 25-14, 25-14 to lead the round robin group.