India’s might found no challenge in the 12th South Asian Games with its archers, wrestlers and weightlifters clinching a majority of gold to ensure a third successive day of supremacy for the country, with the 1-2 loss to Pakistan in men’s hockey being the only blip.
While compound archers scooped all five gold medals on offer, wrestlers also annihilated competition to grab five yellow metals out of six.
Courtesy the strong showing by them, India continued to top the medals’ tally with a count of 79, which includes 53 gold, 20 silver and 6 bronze medals.
There was however disappointment in men’s hockey as a lacklustre India suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan in their much-anticipated group match.
Muhammad Arslan Qadir scored both the goals for Pakistan in the 11th and 37th minutes while Indian captain Mandeep Antil pulled one back in the 55th minute of the match at the Moullana Tyabulla Stadium.
The match played between second string sides of the two countries did not rise to any heights as there were few very goal-scoring chances.
Overall, Sri Lanka held on to the second spot with 59 medals (11 gold, 25 silver and 23 bronze). Pakistan was a distant third in the tally with 29 medals (4 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze) in their kitty.
The golden run began early today for India in Shillong with compound archers grabbing all the five gold medals on offer along with two silver medals to rule the roost.
The Indian archers topped the medals chart ahead of Bangladesh, who finished with two silver and two bronze medals and third placed Bhutan (0-1-1).
The compound trio of Purvasha Shende, Jyoti Vennam and Lily Chanu Paonam started the gold rush for India downing their opponents from Bangladesh 228-217 in the morning session.
Purvasha went on to win a hat-trick of gold medals as she also emerged the individual champion and bagged her third in mixed pair event with Asian Games team gold and individual silver medallist Abhishek Verma.
After a near perfect round in the team event where he shot 15 perfect 10s out of a possible 16, Verma lost to compatriot Rajat Chauhan by two points in the individual final as both of them returned with two gold medals each.
Ranked world No.5, Chauhan lived up to his reputation, edging out Verma 144-142 to emerge the individual champion in a thrilling men’s final in the afternoon session.
In the squash competition, star player Joshna Chinappa clinched the gold in women’s individual event after beating Maria Toorpaki Wazir of Pakistan in a tense and ill-tempered summit clash.