Manoj Kumar, one of India’s best in boxing, made a good start to his campaign in the welter (69kg) category in the XXI Commonwealth Games with an easy win over Osita Umeh (Nigeria) at Oxenford studios here on Wednesday.

The Indian gained a clean 5-0 approval over his rival with a good all-round effort. Manoj stood superior with his jabbing, hooks and punches, although the Nigerian, too, was good in patches.

In table tennis, the India campaign got off to a rollicking start as both its men’s and women’s teams won two matches each with ease. The Indian men trounced Trinidad & Tobago 3-0 and Northern Ireland by the same margin in Group 1 of the team event, while the women’s team came out all guns blazing, conquering Sri Lanka and Wales by an identical 3-0 margin.

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In swimming, Virdhawal Khade and Srihari Nataraj had provided their fans hope by moving into the semifinals of the men’s 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke. Both, however, failed to progress further, finishing eighth and last in their respective semifinals. In the fly, Khade had made the cut with a timing of 24.52s in the heats and even though he improved it to 24.50s in the semis, the Maharashtra swimmer was still unable to make any impact.

Srihari Nataraj, too, failed in the semifinal hurdle as he fell to the last spot. He did manage to improve his timing in the heats, though — 56.71s to 56.65s. The other swimmer in the fray — Sajan Prakash — was eliminated at the heats stage itself after he finished seventh with a time of 25.11s in men’s 50m butterfly. Prakash was ranked 21st among the 54 swimmers who took part in the event.

Cameroon pips India

In basketball, India lost to Cameroon narrowly at 96-87 in a men’s Pool B match after failing to hold on to its lead through the first two quarters. The Indians seemed to be the better side on view at that stage, ending one-up over Cameroon 27-15, 36-24 to enjoy a 24-point lead at the break.

However, the side blew up this good lead as Cameroon changed its tactics and came out with an attacking game. Cameroon took the remaining two quarters 23-11, 34-11 to squeak past with a nine-point margin.

Among women, India lost to Jamaica 57-66 in its opening Pool B encounter. Away at the Anna Mearas veldrome, too, India failed to make headway as it finished sixth in the women’s sprint qualifying heats; it finished seventh and last in the women’s 4000m team pursuit qualifiers.