Snooker Trio Bag Silver

– After early success, Indian shooters fail to keep up the good work

Guangzhou: The cueists continued their good run by providing a silver medal but the fancied shooters came a cropper in windy conditions, as India added two more medals to their kitty on the third day of competitions in the 16th Asian Games here Monday.

The performance of the snooker team comprising Yasin Merchant, Sneh Aditya Mehta and Brijsh Damani, who gave India their fourth silver, was the highpoint of an otherwise disappointing day, which saw most of the Indian sportspersons failing to make much of an impact.

The snooker trio proved too strong for Pakistan as they demolished their archrivals 3-0 to set up a gold medal clash against hosts China. While they lost to China 1-3 in the final, to be content with the silver, the men’s tennis team bagged a bronze medal to take India’s medal tally to one gold, four silver and three bronze.

Sanam Singh gave a tough fight to Yang Tsung Hua but failed to convert his chances and went down after winning the opening set. He lost 7-6 (3), 2-6 6-7 in two hours and 44 minutes.

Somdev, ranked 105th in the world, brought India back into the rubber when he demolished Taipei rival Ti Chen 6-2 7-6 (4) in 1 hour and 39 minutes by out-hitting his rival from the base.

But the efforts seemed to have drained the Indian duo who were blown away in the doubles tie which they lost 6-4 7-6 (1) to settle for the bronze.

The paddlers endured a mixed day in the individual competitions with only Kumarsen Shamini making it to the second round of the mixed as well as women’s singles event.

In weightlifting, India’s medal hope K.Ravi Kumar failed to live up to expectations as he finished fifth with a below-par performance in the men’s 69kg weightlifting.

The shooters, who have provided the bulk of the medals so far, were a big disappointment as they drew a blank at the Aoti shooting range with stars like Gagan Narang and Tejaswini Sawant failing to qualify, handicapped by windy conditions.

Narang was second best among Indians by finishing a lowly 24th with 587 points. But this is not the 27-year-old Commonwealth Games hero’s main event at the distance and he would have a shot at the 50m three-position competition to be held on November 18.

Hariom Singh, who has already secured an Olympic berth in the same event at the Munich World Championship in August, was 13th from 54 shooters in the qualification stage. Third Indian entrant Surinder Singh Rathod was 27th with a tally of 586.

India’s first woman world champion in shooting, Tejaswini Sawant finished 11th with a score of 588 in the 50m rifle prone qualifiers, way below the top score of 595 notched up by eventual gold medallist Chengyi Wang of China.

Sawant’s compatriots were no better with Meena (586) finishing 14th and Lajja Gauswami ending on the 16th spot with a score of 585.

The trio did not do too well in the 50m-rifle prone team event as well and signed off fifth with a score of 1759.

The disappointment continued for India in the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol event with the team of Rahul, Gurpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar finishing fourth with a total of 1711.
In swimming, Virdhawal Khade narrowly missed out on a medal and ended up fourth in the 50m freestyle event just 0.03 seconds behind the eventual bronze-medallist.
The 19-year-old Khade, who qualified with the fifth best timing of 22.98sec, clocked 22.87sec in the finals.

India’s Ashish Kumar finished a disappointing 23rd in a 24-participant field in the final of the men’s individual all-round artistic gymnastics competition, while Sagolsem Somorjit finished a dismal last in the men’s all-round nangun wushu competition.

Indian challenge in soft tennis came to an end after both the mixed doubles pairs failed to cross the first hurdle, losing to higher-ranked opponents.

Mixed doubles pair of Jitender Mehlda and Monica Murali Menon became a first round casualty after losing the opening round 5-0 to Mai Sasaki and Hidenori Shinohara of Japan.

In judo, Ramashrey Yadav’s hopes of winning an Asian Games bronze medal went up in smoke as he lost in the men’s 73kg repechage final at the Huagong Gymnasium here Monday.

Meanwhile, Indian Grandmaster Sasikiran Krishnan continued his unbeaten run with two wins and a draw Monday to sit at joint second after the seventh round, and remain in contention for a medal in the chess competition of the Asian Games here.

Another Indian in the men’s section, Surya Sekhar Ganguly won two matches while lost one. Among women, Harika Dronavalli and Tania Sachdev are at joint fourth after the seventh round.
India beat Afghanistan 83-76 in a closely contested match to qualify for the group stage of basketball competition.


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