Millennium Post

Pencak Silat: India starts on a winning note

Jakarta: India's pencak silat campaign started on a winning note as Naorem Boynao Singh beat Turatbek Sulaimankul Uulu of Kyrgystan in the men's 50-55 kg pre-quarterfinals match at the 18th Asian Games here on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Boynao beat Turarbek 5-0.

He will face Dumaan Dines of Philippines in the quarter-final match on Friday.

"Boynao maintained his lead from the beginning till the end. His performance was outstanding," India's national coach Mohammad Iqbal said.

Pencak silat is a full-body fighting sport, which includes grappling and throwing, in addition to the use of weaponry. The sport is indigenous to Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Srihari Natraj twice bettered his national record in the 200m backstroke but could finish only sixth in the final while Virdhawal Khade ended last in the 50m butterfly in the swimming competition of the Asian Games.

Natraj moved to the final by improving upon his own national mark with a timing of 2:02.97 and further cut it down to 2:02.83 in the final.

There may not be a medal for young Natraj, a class XII student, but he returns home with three national records.

Apart from 200m backstroke, he also set national records in 50m backstroke (26.19) and 100m backstroke (55.86), which is his pet event also.

"It is encouraging. I now know what I need to do, it was a good learning experience," Natraj, who trains at Ramakrishna Hegde Swimming Pool in Bengaluru, said.

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