South Asian Games: India wins 56 medals, consolidates top spot

India secured its best medal haul on a single day so far in the Games to lead the medal tally with 62 gold, 41 silver and 21 bronze.

India's Bhairabi Roy competes in the women's triple jump final. She won bronze.   -  AFP

Led by strong performances by wushu players and swimmers, India breached the 100-medal mark by winning a whopping 56 medals on the fourth day of competitions to consolidate its top position in the South Asian Games here on Thursday.

India secured its best medal haul on a single day so far in the Games to lead the medal tally with 62 gold, 41 silver and 21 bronze for a total of 124 medals to leave host Nepal behind in the second spot.

Nepal has 36 gold, 27 silver and 38 bronze for a total of 101 medals, followed by Sri Lanka at third position with 107 medals (17 gold, 35 silver, 55 bronze).

India added 30 gold, 18 silver and 8 bronze on Thursday.

Swimming

Swimming accounted for the most medals for India on Thursday with 11, four of which were gold. There were also six silver and one bronze. Likith Selvaraj Prema clocked 2 minute 14.67 seconds to win the men’s 200m breaststroke (short course) gold while compatriot Danush Suresh won the silver in 2:19.27.

India’s second gold from swimming came from Apeksha Delyla Fernandes who won the men’s 200m breaststroke (short course) with a time of 2:38.05. Divya Satija clinched a gold in women’s 100m butterfly (short course), clocking 1:02.78, before the women’s 400m freestyle relay team finished on top of the podium with a time of 3:55.17.

Weightlifting

Indians bagged four gold medals on what was the first day of weightlifting competitions. Jhilli Dalabehera, who had clinched a silver in the Asian Weightlifting Championship earlier this year, lifted a total of 151 kg (66kg in snatch and 85kg in clean and jerk) to win the gold in women’s under-45kg category.

In the women’s under-49kg event, Sneha Soren bagged the gold. The 18-year-old lifted 68kg in the snatch and followed it up by an 89kg effort in the clean and jerk category for a total of 157kg.

In the women’s 55kg event, Commonwealth Championship gold medallist Sorokhaibam Bindyarani Devi emerged victorious. The Manipuri lifted a total of 181kg.

India’s fourth weightlifting gold of the day came from Siddhant Gogoi in the men’s 61kg category for his effort of 264kg.

Taekwondo

Taekwondo players’ impressive show also continued as they gave India six medals — three gold, two silver and one bronze. India’s participation in taekwondo in the SAG was allowed at the 11th hour after an intervention from the International Olympic Committee.

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Purva Dattary Dixit (women’s 49kg), Ruchika Bhave (women’s 67kg) and Margaret Maria (women’s 73kg) bagged the gold for India while Niraj Choudhary (men’s 58kg) and Akshay Hooda (men’s 87kg) clinched a silver each. Lakshya then added a bronze in the men’s 80kg category.

Track and field

Track and field athletes had a relatively quieter day after leading from the front in the past two days. They pocketed six medals, including one gold, on Thursday. Triple jumper Karthik Unnikrishnan was the lone gold winner in athletics; he cleared a distance of 16.47m. Mohammed Salahuddin jumped 16.16m to win the silver for a 1-2 finish for India.

Surender Jayakumar (men’s 110m hurdles), Aparna Roy (women’s 100m hurdles) and Priya Habbathanahally (women’s 400m) also won a silver each while K. S. Jeevan (men’s 400m) bagged a bronze.

This was India’s best medal haul in the Games so far. It now has 58 gold, 41 silver and 19 bronze, for a total of 118 medals. Nepal has 36 gold, 26 silver and 34 bronze for a total of 96 medals, followed by Sri Lanka (16 gold, 31 silver, 52 bronze).