CWG 2022: Zareen in quarters, Shiva Thapa ousted
World champion Nikhat Zareen sailed into the women’s 50kg quarter finals but it was curtains for Shiva Thapa as he crashed out of the men’s 63.5kg round of-16 boxing competition at the Commonwealth Games here on Sunday.
While Zareen knocked out Helena Ismael Bagao of Mozambique to storm into the last-eight round of the women’s lightweight category winning by RSC (Referee stops the Contest), Thapa lost 1-4 to World Championship bronze medallist Scotland’s Reese Lynch to make a disappointing exit from the Games.
The first Indian pugilist to take the ring on the day, Zareen toyed with her young opponent dominating the bout from start to finish.
The Indian used her rich experience to unsettle Bagao from the onset. She came out attacking and used her combinations of left and right punches to overpower her opponent.
Zareen landed clean punches on her opponent’s face in the final round to completely shock her, forcing the referee to call off the tie with 48 seconds remaining.
Zareen will next face reigning Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Troy Garton of New Zealand in the quarter finals, where a win will secure her podium finish.
Zareen said she won’t settle for anything less than a gold from the event.
“I am feeling happy that I won my first bout and I am looking forward to performing well in the next rounds. I am just one fight away from a medal but I am looking to win gold from here,” she said.
Goal-rush in hockey
The men’s hockey team decimated lowly Ghana 11-0 in their opening Pool B match. As expected, the Indians were relentless in their attacks and controlled the proceedings from start to finish.
The Indians played to their strength and scored five in the first half before pumping in four and two goals in the last two quarters respectively.
Vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh (11th, 35th, 53rd) scored a hat-trick, while Abhishek (2nd minute), Shamsher Singh (14th), Akashdeep Singh (20th), Jugraj Singh (22nd, 43rd), Nilakanta Sharma (38th), Varun Kumar (39th) and Mandeep Singh (48th) were the other goal getters for India.
In squash, Joshna Chinappa outwitted New Zealand’s Kaitlyn Watts 3-1 to progress to the singles quarter finals.
The 18-time national champion kept her calm to recover from a mid-game slump to prevail 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6 against Watts to set up a last-eight clash with Canada’s Hollie Naughton. Naughton beat Malaysia’s Aifa Azman 3-0.
Looking for an elusive CWG gold medal, Chinappa was lagging 3-5 initially in the opening set but made it 8-8 before taking a 1-0 lead.
Watts, however, made a strong comeback in the second set as she zoomed to 5-1 and even though the Indian made it 9-9 at one stage, the Kiwi managed to gather the last two points to keep herself afloat.
Despite the reversal, Chinappa showed better nerves as she build up a 7-3 lead and quickly stepped ahead to make it 2-1.
The Indian men’s pair of Dinesh Kumar and Sunil Bahadur defeated England to advance to the quarter finals of the lawn bowl event.
Dinesh Kumar (skip) and Sunil Bahadur (lead) won 18- 15. The duo was 10-5 ahead after the eighth end and thwarted English pair’s effort to make a comeback.
The Indian pair had gone down to Malaysia 14-17 in their first game on Friday but bounced back with wins over Falkland Islands (36-4) and Cook Islands (15-8).
Gymnasts Yogeshwar Singh and Ruthuja Nataraj signed off at 15th and 17th spots in the men’s and women’s all-around finals of the artistic gymnastic event respectively.
Swimmer Srihari Nataraj qualified for the semi-finals of men’s 50m backstroke event. Nataraj clocked 25.52 seconds to qualify for his second consecutive semifinals of the Games. He had also made the 100m backstroke last 16.
Sajan Prakash finished as the first reserve for the 200m butterfly event. The 21-year-old Nataraj clocked 25.52s to emerge as the second fastest swimmer in his heat and eighth fastest overall.