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India bag 3 more gold medals

- Dipa creates history with bronze in gymnastics
Yogeshwar Dutt

Glasgow: Olympics bronze medallist, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Babita Kumari dazzled on the mat to win gold medals, as wrestlers continued to boost India’s kitty, at the 20 th Commonwealth Games here on Thursday.

Vikas Gowda brought in the first medal from athletics in Glasgow for India, with a gold medal win in men’s discus throw.

While Yogeshwar won the men’s 65kg freestyle, Babita emerged champion in the women’s 55kg. Geetika Jhakar (women’s 63kg), however, had to settle for a silver.

Young Dipa Karmakar created history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a medal in gymnastics. She won the bronze in the vault event.

Silver for Geetika

Wrestlers made India proud again on the final day of competition. Yogeshwar hardly broke sweat en route to his gold medal effort by using his trademark ‘fitele’ (leg-twisting) technique to great effect. He dominated the final against his Canadian opponent Jevon Balfour to clinch the gold medal in just 1:53 seconds.

Yogeshwar first beat Alex Gladkov of Scotland 4-0 and then easily defeated another Scottish wrestler Gareth Jones in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, he got the better of Sri Lanka’s Chamara Perera.

Babita completely dominated her gold medal bout against Canadian Brittanee Laverdure to seal the contest 9-2 in her favour.

However, it was some sort of disappointment for India in the women’s 63kg as Geetika was no match for her Candian opponent Danielle Lappage. The world junior champion overpowered the Indian grappler 7-0 to pocket the gold with consummate ease.

Pawan Kumar bagged a bronze in men’s 86kg by defeating Muhammad Inam.

Vikas Gowda celebrates after winning the gold, on Thursday

Gowda rules

The 31-year-old US-based Gowda pocketed the gold with an effort of 63.64m, way below his personal best effort of 66.28m, under incessant rain at the Hampden Park.

The silver went to Apostolos Parellis of Cyprus who threw the discuss to 63.32m, while the bronze was bagged by Jason Morgan of Jamaica with an effort of 62.34m. Gowda, who won a silver in the 2010 Delhi Games, registered his best effort in his third attempt, which proved enough for him to win gold.

Meanwhile, Tintu Luka failed to qualify for the finals of the women's 800m race after finishing seventh in the first semi-final.

Dipa’s day

In gymnastics, 20-year-old Dipa collected 14.366 points to finish third in the women’s vault final. The gold went to England’s Claudia Fragapane who got 14.633 points, while Elisabeth Black was second with 14.433 points.

India in semis

Babita Kumari

A clinical first-half performance from India saw them breeze past South Africa 5-2, to qualify for the semi-final of the men’s hockey.

Having finished second in the pool behind defending champions Australia, India will now take on New Zealand in the semi-final, while Australia are pitted against England in the other last four clash.

Drag-flickers V Raghunath and Rupinderpal Singh were on target in the fourth and eighth minute respectively, followed by a 22nd minute strike by Ramandeep Singh to make it 3-0. SV Sunil (26th minute) played a brilliant one-two with Nikkin Thimmaia before tapping it in to make it 4-0. Manpreet Singh dived full stretch to meet an Akashdeep Singh cross to round off the tally in the 58th minute.

For South Africa, Taine Patton (42nd minute) and Austin Smith (46 th) were on target.

Shuttlers in quarters

Parupalli Kashyap, R M V Gurusaidutt and P C Thulasi entered the quarter-finals of their respective events in badminton. Kashyap took just 24 minutes to get the better of Jeff Tho of Australia 21-7, 21-8 in a men’s singles match, while Thulasi thrashed Rachel Honderich of Canada 21-12, 21-7 in a 31-minute women’s singles match. Gurusaidutt notched up an easy 21-13, 21-9 win over Andrew D’Souza of Canada, in a men’s singles match that lasted 27 minutes.

Mixed results

In table tennis, Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj marched into the men’s doubles semifinals. But Kamal and Shamini Kumaresan lost to Danny Reed and Kelly Sibley of England 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 14-12, 4-11 in the mixed doubles quarter-finals.

Kamal and Amalraj stay in the medal hunt with a convincing win over England’s Reed and Sam Walker 12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8 in the quarter-finals. Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai lost 10-12, 9-11, 8-11, 8-11 against the Singapore pairing of Gao Ning and Li Hu in another men’s doubles quarter-final. Earlier, 19-year-old Manika Batra fought her way into the women’s singles quarter-finals, defeating Canadian teenager Anqi Luo 11-13, 11-7, 8-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9.

Dipika, Joshna up

In squash, Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa sailed into the women’s doubles semi-finals. The fifth seeds got the better of sixth seeds Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy from New Zealand, 11-9, 11-5, in their quarter-final.

Saurav Ghosal and Harinder Pal Sandhu suffered a heart-breaking loss in the men’s doubles pre-quarter finals. The seventh seeds from India lost 5-11, 11-8, 9-11 to eighth seeds Stuart Crawford and Greg Lobban of Scotland.

Vijender advances

Star boxer Vijender Singh packed a punch as he made it to the semi-finals. He outclassed Trinidad and Tobago’s Aaron Prince in the men’s 75kg category. The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist won 3-0 on points.

The first round was a bit subdued with both the boxers trying to get a measure of each other. Vijender played a bit defensively and Prince attacked more.

In the second round though, Vijender’s flurry of punches saw his opponent in trouble.

A straight jab and then a right hook punch from Vijender rattled Prince. The tempo continued in the third round and Vijender won comfortably at the end.

World No. 3 Devendro Singh outclassed Aqeel Ahmed of Scotland to advance to the medal round.

Team effort

Lawn bowls men’s fours team reached the semi-finals after beating Norfolk Island 26-4.