COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Sanjita, Lather strike medals; Joshna, Amit, Naman in quarters
Gold Coast, April 6 (IANS): Indian weightlifters continued their highly impressive medal-winning performances as K. Sanjita Chanu and Deepak Lather clinched gold and bronze respectively, while squash player Joshana Chinappa, boxers Amit Phangal and Naman Tanwar entered the quarter-finals at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) here on Friday.
Sanjita won in the women’s 53 kilogram category as the Manipuri star lifted a total of 192 kg which included a CWG record of 84 kg in the snatch and 108 kg in clean and jerk, while Lather bagged a bronze medal in the men’s 69 kilogram competition. He managed 136 kilograms in the snatch and 159 kg in clean and jerk for a total of 295 kg.
India now has four medals here after weightlifters S. Mirabai Chanu and Gururaja delivered a gold and a silver respectively on Thursday. Success also continued in the mixed team badminton event as India topped Group A and reach the quarter-finals, after thrashing unfancied Scotland 5-0.
India’s artistic gymnasts Pranati Das and Pranati Nayak qualified for the individual women’s all-round and vault finals respectively on a disappointing day for World Cup medallist Aruna Budda Reddy. Das finished 21st in the all-around final, with a total of 43.800 points. In the individual vault, Nayak was fourth with 13.300 points.
India’s women continued to shine as Joshna was the lone squash player to reach the quarter-finals after Dipika Pallikal and Vikram Malhotra lost in the Round-of-16. Joshna defeated lower-ranked Tamika Saxby of Australia 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-4).
The women’s hockey team bounced back strongly after the 2-3 stunning loss to Wales with a 4-1 rout of Malaysia in a Group A match. Gurjit Kaur (6th, 39th minutes), Rani Rampal (56th) and Lalremsiami (59th) scored for India.
In boxing action, Amit outplayed Tetteh Sulemanu of Ghana 5-0 in the men’s light flyweight (49 kilogram), while Naman thrashed Tanzania’s Haruna Mhando 5-0 in Heavyweight (91 kg) division in Round-of-16 actions at Oxenford Studios arena here.
Indian cyclists disappointed on the second day as all of them failed to advance to the medal rounds. Sahil Kumar, Ranjit Singh and Sanuraj Sanandaraj failed to qualify for the next round in the men’s cycling keirin first round heats. In the men’s 4,000 metre Individual Pursuit, Manjeet Singh also failed to qualify forward after posting 4:39.744 to finish 24th out of 27 competitors. Deborah Herold and Aleena Reji lost in the quarter-finals of the women’s sprint event.
India also had a mixed day in the lawn bowls events, reaching Round 5 in the men’s Pairs and women’s Fours event, while they suffered losses in the Round 3 of the men’s Pairs and Triples competitions. Pinki lost in singles Round 4.
Woman para-swimmer Kiran Tak finished seventh in the S9 100m backstroke final which she completed in 1.47.10 minute after beginning with a reaction time of 1.08 seconds.
At the end of Friday, India remained in the fifth spot in the medal table, behind Australia (36 medals), England (18 medals), Canada (11 medals) and Scotland (10 medals).
India has now far rode on the success of its weightlifters — two of them rose to the occassion on Friday. Sanjita outclassed defending champion Loa Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea, who was a distant second with 182 kg while Canadian Rachel Leblanc-Bazinet took bronze with 181 kg.
Sanjita was by far the most dominant competitor in both snatch and clean jerk. She took the lead in the snatch with an opening attempt of 81 kilograms. New Zealand’s Rachel, who had managed 78 kg in her first attempt, joined Sanjita at the pole position by lifting 81 kg in her second attempt.
But Sanjita showed her class by equalling the CWG record of 83 kg in her second attempt to regain the lead. The Canadian, whose best lift in training has been 82 kg, made a brave and futile attempt to match the CWG record.
The Indian then walked out to set a new CWG record at 84 kg and take the lead. The previous CWG record of 83 kg was set by compatriot Swarti Singh at the Glasgow Games in 2014. Things were even easier for Sanjita in the clean and jerk as none of her rivals managed to produce even a semblance of a challenge.
Sanjita took the lead with a successful opening attempt of 104 kg. She bolstered her lead with 108 kg in her second attempt. She then attempted to better the existing CWG record of 111 kg which was set by Loa in 2014. That however, was not to be as Sanjita failed to lift 112 kg in her third attempt.
Loa, who started with a successful attempt of 102 kg, failed to hoist 109 kg in her second attempt. She then went for 113 kg in her final attempt in a bid to better her own CWG record and retain the title which she had won four years ago.
But she failed her third attempt despite a brave effort as the Indian camp celebrated Sanjita’s triumph. Rachel meanwhile, needed two attempts to clear 98 kg before lifting 100 kg in her third attempt.
The third Indian weightlifter in action in the day, Saraswati Rout failed to finish in the women’s 58kg competition. She couldn’t get a valid lift.