Two more pool golds for India - SAF GAMES - Spikers retain men's title defeating Pakistan

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By (PTI) in Islamabad
  • Published 4.04.04
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Islamabad: T. Sujith picked up his seventh gold as the Indian men rounded off their domination of the pool snatching two more gold medals and as many meet records. India also asserted their supremacy in men’s volleyball as the defending champions beat hosts Pakistan to retain the crown on the sixth day of the 9th SAF Games here on Saturday.

India continued to excel in the shooting range as well with Sushma Rana (women’s 25m sport pistol) and Satguru Das (men’s 50m rifle prone) claiming a double gold while in athletics Seema Antil (women’s discus throw) and Amarjeet Singh (triple jump) created new meet records to help their country win four of the eight golds decided at the Jinnah Stadium.

The other gold medal winners for India were Surendra Bhandari and Rupen Pradhan in taekwondo.

In men’s kabaddi India trounced Nepal 81-10.

India were fast approaching the 100 medal mark with a haul of 57 gold, 23 silver and 15 bronze medals for a total of 95. In second place were Pakistan (22-33-23) followed by Sri Lanka (7-18-27).

The Indian spikers, who had won four of the five previous SAF summit clashes against their arch-rivals, faced some stiff resistance as they lost the second and third sets but rallied superbly to win 25-18, 23-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-9, to record the first-ever win on Pakistani soil.

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the bronze beating Bangladesh 25-22, 23-25, 24-26, 25-19 15-10.

India began well and raced to a 17-8 lead in the first set. But the defending champions began to make some silly mistakes in attack and defence allowing Pakistan to come back into the match.

At the end of the men’s swimming competition, India emerged runaway victors annexing 17 gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

Sujith increased his individual tally to seven golds after winning the 100m freestyle and anchoring the 4x100m freestyle relay team, both in record time.

Sujith led from start to finish in the individual sprint event to come home in 53.53 seconds, erasing the old mark of 53.95 set by Sebastian Xavier in Chennai in 1995. Compatriot Rahul Batra bagged the silver in 54.67 while Arun Karunaratne of Sri Lanka (55.23) took the bronze.

Sujith and Batra then combined with Amar Muralidharan and Benoy Sebastian to give India the freestyle relay gold in a record time of 3 minute, 39.40 secs. Interestingly, Sujith was part of the quartet — which included Hakimuddin, Martin Joseph and Elvis Ali Hazarika — that held the previous best of 3:39.73, set in Kathmandu in 1999.

Though Seema Antil and Amarjeet Singh came up with record breaking efforts it was Madhuri A Singh who hogged the limelight winning the women’s 800m with a late burst on the second day of athletics competition.

India’s other gold came through Hirdayanand Singh who won the men’s discus gold.