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Indian dominance continues with another golden day

India plundered most of the gold on offer for a fourth successive day with swimmers, archers and track-and-field athletes ensuring that the host country’s top position on the medals tally remained unchallenged in the 12th South Asian Games here on Tuesday.

Continuing their terrific show, Indians took their overall medal count to 122 (76 gold, 36 silver and 10 bronze).

Holding on to the distant second spot were Sri Lanka with 84 medals, including 17 gold, 36 silver and 31 bronze medals. The most stunning performance on Tuesday was by the swimmers, who swept 7 gold medals followed by track-and-field athletes and archers. The archers won all five golds of the day, while the athletes also won similar number of gold along with six silver and three bronze.

India also won both the men s and women s gold in volleyball after defeating Sri Lanka in both the finals.

In the last three days, Sri Lanka had been giving competition to the home country in swimming but on Tuesday it was the local favourites who ruled the roost at the Dr Zakir Hussain Aquatics Complex here.

Saurabh Sangvekar started the gold-winning streak for India, setting a new Games record of 3:58.84 seconds to win the 400m freestyle for men. V Malvika secured the gold in 400m freestyle for women, setting a new meet record of 4:30.08 minutes.

Sajan Prakash then bagged India’s third gold of the day and his fourth of the Games, by winning the 200m butterfly for men with a new record time of 2:03.02.

This was followed by Damini Gowda winning the gold in 200m butterfly in yet another Games record time of 2:21.12. PS Madhu, in 50m backstroke for men, also set a new record of 26.86 seconds.

The gold in 50m backstroke for women was clinched by Kimiko Raheem of Sri Lanka, setting a new record of 29.75 seconds.

Indians also won the gold in 4x200m freestyle for both men and women. Silver winners for India on Tuesday were Sajan Prakash (400m freestyle for men), Shivani Kataria (400m freestyle for women), M Arvind (50m backstroke for men) and Maana Patel (50m backstroke for women).

Before the swimmers, the archers had set the tone in the morning session in Shillong winning all the five gold medals up for grabs to take their overall count to 10 gold and 4 silver.

Indian women’s trio of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Bombayala Devi shot below par scores but it was enough for them to blank their misfiring Sri Lankan opponents 6-0 to open gold medal account in recurve at Polo Grounds this morning.

The men’s team of Tarundeep Rai, Gurucharan Besra and Jayanta Talukdar followed suit with a 5-1 win over their Lankan rivals in the summit clash.

India’s mixed pair of Rai and Deepika added a second gold medal to their kitty, India’s third overall in recurve, as with a 6-0 cakewalk against the Bangladeshi duo of Sojeb Shiek and Beauty Ray.

In the afternoon session, the recurve archers bagged two gold and as many silver in the all-Indian individual finals to sign off in style with grabbing all possible 10 gold medals and four silver in total. Making a comeback after the 2014 Asian Games, Rai retained his individual title to finish with a hat-trick of gold along with Deepika, who won the women’s individual event. The story was no different in the track-and-field arena.

Rio Olympics bound shot-putter Manpreet Kaur stole the limelight as Indians pocketed five gold medals on the opening day of the event.

India won five gold, six silver and three bronze in the nine events held at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium. Sri Lanka gave a tough fight to the home athletes by winning four gold, one silver and five bronze.

Kaur bagged the first gold of the day for India by winning the women’s shot put event with a throw of 17.94m. Her namesake, Manpreet Junior got the silver with a throw of 15.94m while W Fernando bagged the bronze in 14.87m in a four -woman field.
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