South Asian Games: India clinches 41 medals on day 5, widens gap with rivals

India bagged 41 medals on day five to take its total tally to 165 medals (81 gold, 59 silver, 25 bronze) and lead the table — ahead of Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Former world junior championships silver medallist Siril Verma won India one of its four golds on Friday. (File photo)   -  Special arrangement

Shuttlers led India’s stupendous show as the country widened the gap at the top by clinching 41 medals, including 19 gold, on Day 5 of the 13th South Asian Games here on Friday.

India grabbed another 18 silver and 4 bronze to take the total tally to 165 medals (81 gold, 59 silver, 25 bronze) and leave second-placed Nepal (41 gold, 27 silver, 48 bronze), who won 116 medals in aggregate, behind.

Sri Lanka is third with a total of 134 medals (23 gold, 42 silver, 69 bronze).

The shuttlers won the maximum gold medals (4) four for India on Friday. They completely dominated the discipline by winning four gold and two silver medals.

Former world junior championships silver medallist Siril Verma lived up to his top seeding as he rallied from a game down to outwit compatriot Aryaman Tandon 17-21, 23-21, 21-13 in an all-Indian men’s singles final.

In the women’s singles final, Ashmita Chaliha overcame a late surge from fellow Indian Gayatri Gopichand to finish off with a 21-18, 25-23 win.

In doubles, there was double delight for Dhruv who emerged victorious in both men’s and mixed doubles. He paired up with Krishna Prasad Garaga to win the men’s doubles title 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 against Sri Lanka’s Sachin Dias and Buwaneka.

In mixed doubles, top seeds Dhruv and Meghana Jakkampudi eased past second seeds Sachin Dias and Thilini Pramodika Hendehewe of Sri Lanka 21-16, 21-14 in the final.

Track and field athletes, who were leading the Indian charge in the past few days, fetched the maximum 12 medals but just two of them were gold. The two gold were won in men’s and women’s shot put events.

In men’s shot put, Asian champion Tejinder Pal Toor broke the South Asian Games record with a creditable throw of 20.03m to win the gold. He bettered compatriot Bahadur Singh Sagoo’s previous record of 19.15m made in 1999. Another Indian Om Prakash Karhana was a distant second with a best throw of 17.31m.

In women’s shot put event, Abha Khatuwa took the gold by throwing the iron ball to a distance of 15.32m. Compatriot Kachana Chaudhary bagged the bronze with a throw of 13.66m.

The country’s fencers also made their presence felt in the South Asian Games by clinching three gold and as many silver.

Wangelmbam Thoibi Devi won the gold in women’s foil while compatriot Radhika Prasad bagged the silver in a 1-2 finish for India.

In men’s sabre event, Karan Singh and Kumaresan Padma Gishonidhi clinched the gold and silver. Indian also finished 1-2 in the men’s epee event with Sunil Kumar claiming the gold while Jayaprakash Guruprakash bagged the silver.

In table tennis also, the Indians won the gold and silver in both the men’s and women’s singles.

Anthony Amalraj defeated compatriot Harmeet Desai 4-3 while Sutirtha Mukherjee downed Ayhika Mukherjee 4-2 in the all-Indian men’s and women’s single’s finals respectively.

India weightlifters also continued their impressive run in the regional multi-sporting event by claiming three gold and a silver. Achinta Sheuli opened the gold account on Friday as he finished on top of podium in men’s 73kg with a total lift of 300kg.

Rakhi Halder added another gold in women’s 64kg with a total effort of 200 kg while Manpreet Kaur won the third in women’s 71kg category with a total lift of 192kg. Later, Ajay Singh won a silver in men’s 81kg by lifting 316kg in total.

Indian cyclists also opened their gold medal account. Elangbam Chaoba Devi finished on the top of podium in women’s elite race while John Naveen Thomas and Arvind Panwar bagged a gold and silver respectively in the men’s elite event.

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