India strike gold and how!

first_imgOn a magical Tuesday, India made a golden splash in the sporting arena by overcoming churlish opponents and near-death situations to emerge proud and victorious.It was a dream day made possible by sportspersons who were as plucky as they were gifted. Consider wrestler Anil Kumar, who beat ill-tempered Australian Hassane Fkiri to win gold in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) fixture though he was bruised and bleeding after being shockingly head-butted.In the Mohali Test match, master stroke player VVS Laxman won the day for his country – this win too was against the Australians – battling muscle spasms and a seemingly backbreaking total.Kumar and Laxman were just a couple of heroes of the day as India won five CWG gold at a fast clip and trounced the Australians in the Mohali Test after being in a precarious situation. In fact, Tuesday proved that it does not always have to be cricket versus the Olympic sports.Not only did the two compete for attention, they joined hands to make it a glorious day for Indian sport.First to veteran Laxman, who single-handedly thwarted the prospect for an Australian victory dance at Mohali. He took India from a hopeless 124 for eight to 216 for a miracle victory. It was only just that Laxman remained unbeaten on 73 at the end of the match as rival skipper Ricky Ponting was yet again denied a shot at winning a Test in India as captain. While Laxman kept the India flag flying high in cricket, young Indian shooters and wrestlers got together in Delhi to make it a golden day for the hosts.advertisementAt the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, it was Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and world No. 3 Gagan Narang who opened the account for the country with a thoroughly dominant victory in the men’s 10m air rifle pairs event. Add to this a come-from-behind win over the Australians for India’s Anisa Sayeed and Rahi Sarnobat in the women’s 25m pistol event.The sun began to set, but the good news didn’t stop here. Greco-Roman categories are supposed to be India’s Achilles heel in wrestling. On the opening day of the competition, the form book just went out of the window.First, it was Ravinder Singh who annihilated England’s Terrence Bosson 9- 0 in the final of the 60kg category before Sanjay Kumar beat Richard Addinall of South Africa 2-0 to win the 74kg category.Then came Anil Kumar’s turn to win a fractious 96kg final fight against Australian Hassane Fkiri.Sports lovers were in raptures.At the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex, Ravinder looked more relieved than happy – for he had managed to keep a promise he had made to his father three years ago. His father Balwant, a former Haryana Kesari himself, had wanted his son to win a gold medal at the Games. Balwant’s death in 2008 only strengthened Ravinder’s resolve to win a medal.Ravinder was too fast and quick for England’s Bosson and, after winning 2- 0 in the opening round, scored seven consecutive points in the second to emerge the winner.”I had made a promise to my father and I am extremely happy that I could manage to fulfil it. I thank God, my well wishers and my coach for this effort.” He said the crowd had played a “major role” in his gold win. They had high expectations from him; he couldn’t let them down.In contrast, Sanjay’s bout against Addinall was a very close affair.Addinall tried his best to press home his height advantage but Sanjay’s superb defence stood out. In fact, in both the rounds, the two wrestlers appeared to be evenly matched.However, in the crucial stages, it was the Indian who prospered to win 2-0.The third and final bout saw an unruly Fkiri trying hard to distract Anil’s focus. At least on two occasions, the gangling Australian of Tunisian descent resorted to headbutting – but nothing could deter the gritty Indian.Anil kept his cool as blood oozed from his mouth.His quick manoeuvres landed the Australian in trouble. The Indian went on to win 6-0 with a victory that put the icing on the cake for the approximately 3,000 fans in attendance.Later on, a two-member technical delegation from the world wrestling body (FILA) disqualified and stripped Fkiri of his silver medal.Reports suggested that his unsportsmanlike conduct for which he was held guilty was a In the morning, Bindra (595 points) and Narang (598 points) shattered their own CWG record of 1,189 points set in Melbourne by shooting a combined total of 1,193 points to leave England (1,174) and Bangladesh (1,173) far behind.advertisementNarang warmed up for Wednesday’s face-off between the two superstars in the singles event by shooting four perfect rounds, while Bindra was somewhat inconsistent.”It was not a cake walk. There were a lot of expectations. There was a lot of pressure. It was certainly not easy,” Bindra said.The Gagan-Bindra win was followed by an amazing turnaround for Anisa and Rahi, who were trailing the Australian pair of Lalita five points at the end of the precision round of the event. But in the rapid section, 19-year-old Rahi turned the tables almost singlehandedly, blowing away the Aussies with a 296/300. Anisa gave her good support with a 288 to give the Indians a total of 1,156 points, breaking the eight-year-old record of 1,150 set by the same Australian duo.Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh then won silver in the men’s 50m pistol pairs after finishing behind Singapore, while rifle prone world champion Tejaswini Sawant made up for teammate Lajja Gauswami’s lapses to earn India another silver in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position pairs event, once again behind Singapore.last_img

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