Hyderabad: Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar won two golds for India in boxing on the final day of competition at the inaugural Afro-Asian Games but five other Indian boxers had to settle for silver medals.
In weightlifting, Sumati Devi staged a remarkable comeback to give India a face-saving bronze in the women’s 75-kg category. Overall, India finished second in the medals tally behind China.
Akhil beat Philippines’ Volitio M. Payla 20-16 in the flyweight final and Jitender outclassed his Kazakh opponent Beibut Shvmenov before the referee stopped the contest in the light heavyweight final.
But it was a disappointing day for Indian pugilists including Mohammed Ali Qamar and V Johnson who had to be content with silver medals. Indian boxers ended withtwo gold, five silver and two bronze medals.
Qamar lost a closely fought battle against Harry S Tanamor of Philippines 63-65 in the light flyweight final, while heavyweight boxer Johnson lost the final to Emmanuel Izonritei after an RSC verdict.
The other Indians to end at the losers corner and settle for silver medals were Diwakar Prasad (bantamweight), A. L. Lakra (featherweight) and Vijender (light welterweight).
Prasad lost 11-18 to Uzbek Bahodirjon Sooltonov in the bantamweight final, Lakra went down to Nigerian Muideen Ganiy 22-29 and Vijender was beaten 32-19 by Bahit Sarsekbaev of Uzbekistan.
The other gold medal winners today were from Uzbekistan (super heavy and middleweight), Korea (lightweight) and Kazakhstan (welterweight).
In weightlifting, the 22-year-old Sumati cleared a combined 217.5kg (97.5 in snatch, 120 in jerk) to win the bronze behind Yang Houqin of China (242.5kg) and Ijeoma Nwatu of Nigeria (222.5) who won gold and silver, respectively.
In the men’s 105kg class, India finished at the bottom while Iran’s Mohammad Salehi Sharfd had a golden finish lifting 372.5 kg. Sharfd’s compatriot Rashid Sharif Sadeh finished a close second lifting 370 leaving the bronze to Mike Enamson Raleigh of Nigeria.
Asian junior champion and National Games medallist Sumati appeared a bit shaky at the beginning and could log only 97.5kg in snatch after she failed to clear 100 in her third and final attempt. Ahead of her after the snatch event were the Chinese champion Yang with 107.5 kg and Nigerians Ijeoma Nwatu and Onubauye Sefiya who both cleared 100.
Asian dominance was well pronounced as China and India topped with rich medal hauls on the final day of the shooting competition at the inaugural Afro-Asian Games here on Friday.
The Chinese shooters underlined their proficiency in great measure despite coming here without their best shooters.
Asian Games champion in both air and free pistol Tan Zongliang was the cynosure of all eyes as he equalled a world record in the air pistol event besides becoming the lone marksman to win a golden double in this championship.
India, after their below par performance in the Busan Asian Games and their good show in the Manchester Commonwealth Games last year, had the satisfaction of winning three gold, six silver and two bronze medals.
India’s star shooter Anjali Bhagwat was distinctly unlucky as she failed to grab a golden double settling instead for a gold and silver.
Anjali narrowly missed the gold in her pet event 10m air rifle to better-rated Korean Park Un Kyong. But her dedication and determination to make good of the Olympics quota saw her competing in rifle three position and winning the gold. She now proceeds to Mhow for training. Anjali will train under a renowned Kazak coach, who has been roped in on a one-year contract.
Jaspal Rana, who could not climb higher than sixth spot in the 25m centrefire pistol event, made amends the next day to win a silver in standard pistol.