India set pool on fire with 2 records - SAF GAMES - Mir anchors team to record mark in 4x200m freestyle medley relay

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By The Telegraph Online in Islamabad
  • Published 1.04.04
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Islamabad: India set the pool ablaze for the second day running grabbing all the four gold medals, two with new Games records, in the men’s swimming events of the ninth SAF Games on Wednesday.

Rehan Poncha won the 200m butterfly event with a new SAF record, while T.A. Sujith collected two golds (50m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle medley relay).

Calcutta-based Akbar Ali Mir, who won the 200m backstroke gold on Tuesday, swam as the anchor in the 4x200m freestyle medley relay for his second gold.

Thus, India have won all the eight events that have been decided in the past two days.

Poncha was cynosure of all eyes as he set a new mark in the 200m butterfly event and clocked 2 min 07.10 secs, which eclipsed the old mark of 2.07.68 set by K. Suresh Kumar of India in Chennai in 1995.

Puneet Rana claimed the gold in 50m breaststroke event with a time of 31.00 secs. The Indian quartet of Amar Muralidharan, Rahul Batra, Sujith and Mir needed 8 min 05.76 secs to win the 4 x 200m freestyle medley relay and erase the old mark of 8.10.91 secs set by the Indians in 1995 in Chennai.

Meanwhile, India’s bid for a clean sweep in the day’s shooting event was halted by Bangaldesh’s Shermina Akhtar, who won the individual gold in the women’s 10m air rifle.

India’s Samesh Jung returned a golden double clinching the individual gold medal in 50m free pistol (60 shots) with a total of 642.9 points. Irshad Ali of Pakistan won silver while India’s Vivek Singh got bronze. Jung helped India collect the team gold in the same event along with Vivek and Ronak Pandit with a tally of 1625 points.

Kuheli Ganguly led the field in the team event and was in line for the individual gold but she was very erratic in the final event. Akhtar had a tally of 493.9 points for the gold while Pournia Chinmoyl (292.9) and Kuheli (ind-492.1) finished with silver and bronze respectively.

Kuheli, along with Chinmoyl and Tejaswini, helped India win the team gold with a total of 1173, followed by Bangladesh (1159) and Pakistan (1149). Samresh, Vivek and Ronak won India the men’s team gold with a tally of 1625.

In badminton, Indian women won the team event to add another gold to the kitty even as the men set up a final clash with Pakistan in the team competition. The eves steamrolled Sri Lanka winning both the singles through B.R. Meenakshi and Trupti Margunde. Manjusha Kanwar and Fathima Nazneen completed the match to claim the gold.

In their semi-final, Indian men had little difficulty in disposing of Nepal winning both the singles and doubles. After winning the match 3-0, India did not play the remaining two matches giving walkovers for a final victory margin of 3-2.

Abhin Shyam Gupta did not strain much against Pashupati Paneru to win at 15-3, 15-4. In the second singles, Chetan Anand defeated Balram Thapa 15-9, 15-4. India earned the final berth when Markose Bristov and Rupesh Kumar beat Pankaj Chand and Kiran Thapa 15-6, 15-4.

In volleyball, Indian men virtually booked their berth in the last four stages beating Maldives 25-8, 25-19, 25-9 in their second match.

Meanwhile, the spin of a coin allowed Bhutan to pip Nepal to go through to semi-final in football. India play Afghanistan in their third and final league tie on Thursday.

After day two, India were leading with 13 gold medals ahead of hosts Pakistan with nine golds. (PTI)