Chanu claims second weightlifting gold for India

Renu Bala Yumnam Chanu lifts to gold.   | Photo Credit: Photo: AP

Paddlers storm into semifinals, shuttlers in quarterfinals

Melbourne: Holding her nerve and displaying tremendous maturity, Renu Bala Yumnam Chanu lifted 185kg to claim India's second gold in weightlifting while Sudhir Kumar Chitradurga bagged a bronze on a fruitful day for Indian lifters in the Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.

Renu Bala was a clear 7 kg ahead of her immediate Canadian rival Beth Emily Quarton who lifted 178 kg for the silver. Australian Jane Natasha Barkar also had 178 but lost to Quarton on a mere 30gm on bodyweight to take home the bronze.

The 27-year-old Chitradurga totalled 287kg in the men's 68kg category. Australian Benjamin Turner won the gold with a total of 294kg (128 snatch, 166 in clean and jerk) while favourite Muhammad Hidayat totalled 293kg (130 and 163).

`Hard work'

Chanu was successful in all her six lifts. "There is no real secret to our successes. But you need sincerity, hard work and your countrymen," she said. "I feel like I could have lifted more but I just did enough to win."

"Renu gave a superb display of concentration," said coach Hansa Sharma. "She never showed any sign of panic or awe in such an elite field."

In boxing, the Indian trio of Jitender Kumar, Jai Bhagwan and Parvinder Singh recorded fluent victories over their rivals to breeze into the pre-quarterfinals.

In the morning session, Haryana lad Jitender Kumar gave the Indian campaign a winning start as he outscored Pakistan's Nouman Karim 14-5 in a one-sided contest in the 51kg category. In the pre-quarterfinals, the Indian will clash with Lesotho's M. Letosoepa.

Flurry of punches

Jitender opened with a flurry of punches and stayed on the offensive throughout to run up a 3-0 lead in the first round. The Pakistani boxer tried to come back in the second round but Jitender kept him at bay and won the round 5-3 to consolidate his overall lead.

The third round was the closest but still the Indian won 3-2 as the Pakistani was unable to land his punches with Jitender displaying better footwork.

In the final round, the Indian outclassed Karim and won 3-0 to work up a 14-5 verdict.

In the evening bouts, Jai Bhagwan beat Len Robert Turley (Wales) 30-9 on points in the 60 kg category while Parvinder Singh beat Charles Emmanuelle Njock 8-3 on points in 75 kg section to enter the pre-quarterfinals.

Justifies seedings

The Indian men and women's table tennis teams justified their seedings, scoring identical 3-1 victories over Canada and Nigeria respectively to storm into the semifinals.

In the semifinals, the Indian men will now meet the winner of the Nigeria-England clash, while their female compatriots take on Singapore. Even if it loses in the semifinals, India has a chance to play-off for the bronze medal.

There seemed to be no end to the woes of the Indian women cagers who suffered their second successive humiliating defeat, going down to England 57-104 in basketball. The girls, who had lost to Australia in the opener, again found themselves all at sea against the seasoned campaigners from England.

Troubled waters

Indian swimmers found themselves in troubled waters for the second successive day as all four contestants failed to qualify for the finals. Rehan Poncha clocked 2 minutes 12.33 seconds to finish seventh in the men's 200m backstroke event while Arjun Muralidharan was fifth with 2:11.23 in another heat.

Rehan was a huge 10.48s behind the top qualifier from his heat while Arjun was 8.65s away from his heat's topper. Prem Kumar and Tirumalai Kumar Subbaiah also made up the rear in the heats of 50m EAD freestyle event. Prem finished seventh and last after returning with 36.57s while Tirumalai was sixth in 36.08s.

After successive wins against two lowly teams, the Indian shuttlers were cut to size by England who made a 5-0 clean sweep in the last league match of the badminton teams competition.

Despite the loss, India, by virtue of finishing second in Pool D behind England, qualified for the last eight. The remaining six teams to qualify for the quarterfinals are Malaysia and Sri Lanka from Pool A, New Zealand and Australia from Pool B and Singapore and Canada from Pool C.

No challenge

The Indian trio of Ashish Kumar, Rohit Jaiswal and Mayank Srivastava put up a creditable display in the men's individual all-around gymnastics final but finished outside the medal bracket.

The Indians were never expected to post a challenge for the top positions and ended up 16th, 21st and 24th respectively in the multi-apparatus competition. The gymnasts had to perform on the floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel and horizontal bars to determine the best overall performer.

Mayank Srivastava brought up the rear with a total of 28.350 from just two apparatus the vault and the parallel bars. UNI, PTI