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Shiv gold ends medal drought

Busan: A gold from golf was not on most pre-Games calculations. Shiv Kapur, an US-based business management student, delivered just that to double India’s tally on Day VII of competitions.

Billiards was what India had counted on but that one slipped out of Geet Sethi and Alok Kumar’s hands at the Dong-Ju College Gymnasium Sunday evening. The Indians, beaten 1-2 by Thais Praprut Chaithanasakun and Mongkhon Kanfaklang, had to be satisfied with silver in the doubles event.

Back to our man of the day, Shiv. Tied with Sri Lankan Anura Rohana on 214 after three rounds, the Purdue University sophomore fired a creditable two-under 70 on a slippery course at the Asiad Country Club to finish three strokes clear of Rohana.

The Lankan returned a one-over 73 to take silver.

“I have played in rainy conditions in the US before so it was not difficult for me to adapt,” said the 20-year-old Shiv. “I was just praying there be no let-up in the rain while the Lankan was finishing his round.”

Completing his course is first priority for the Delhi resident. “It was an ambition of mine to win gold for the country,” said Shiv. “I haven’t decided on turning pro yet, let me first finish studies then we’ll see.”

With Shiv’s countrymen Manav Das, Keshav Misra and Harendra Prasad finishing way down the list at 22nd, 35th and 47th, the Indians failed to win a team medal as they came fifth.

Indo-Pak hockey clash

Pakistan swamped Malaysia 6-1 to top pool B of the hockey standings with an all-win record. More importantly, they sealed a semi-final clash with India. South Korea will face Malaysia in the other match Thursday.

“It’s good we have such a long gap before the semi-final, it will help some of our injured players recover,” said coach Rajinder Singh. The men on the injured list are Prabhjot Singh, Viren Rasquinha and Ignace Tirkey.

Prabhjot’s problem is the most serious. He injured a ligament during the first match against Hong Kong and hasn’t played since. The coach, however, is still hopeful of his participation in the semis. “He is recovering well... he’s an important member of the side, we need him,” said Rajinder.

Kabaddi hopes

The prospects of a third gold are bright as the kabaddi team looks unstoppable. They beat Sri Lanka 23-6 Sunday to notch up their fourth straight win.

Pakistan are the last hurdle Monday. That is virtually a gold medal play-off.

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