Rower Bajrang Lal wins India’s second Asiad gold, cueist Advani crashes out (Afternoon Lead)By IANS
Friday, November 19, 2010
GUANGZHOU - Bajrang Lal Takhar claimed the nation’s maiden rowing gold as Indian rowers capped their best performance in the Asian Games with five medals here Friday. The men’s trap shooting team won a bronze, Sania Mirza moved into the quarters of the women’s tennis singles but cueist Pankaj Advani crashed out of the snooker prequarterfinals.
With the rowers also claiming a silver and a bronze, India’s medal tally on the seventh day of competitions stood at 19 — comprising two golds, eight silvers and nine bronzes.
The women’s hockey team walloped Thailand 13-0 but this was of little consequence as they are already out of contention for the final round.
Bajrang Lal triumphed in the men’s single sculls event, while Pratima Puhana and Pramila Prava Minz became the first Indian women to win an Asian Games rowing medal with their bronze in the pair rowing event. India also bagged the silver in the men’s eight rowing event.
Takhar, who also gave India its first Asiad rowing silver medal at Doha four years ago, clocked seven minutes 4.78 seconds to win the second gold for India in the 2010 Asian Games after cueist Advani.
Takhar, an Arjuna Award winner, led the 2,000 metres race right from the start and won the gold comfortably. He finished the first 500 metres in one minute 39.82 seconds and covered 1,000 metres in three minutes 26.32 second and 1500 metres in five minutes 13.56 seconds.
Pratima and Prava Pramila clocked seven minutes 47.50 seconds to win the bronze behind China and Kazakshtan in the 2,000 metres race.
An inspired Pratima and Pramila, starting in the fourth lane, covered the first 500m in one minute 54.21 secs to be fourth, but covered the half-way mark in three minites 51.40 seconds to move to the third place. The Indian girls held their position for the remaining 1,000 metres to win the bronze.
The Indian team comprising Anil Kumar, Girraj Singh, Saji Thomas, Lokesh Kumar, Manjeet Singh, Rajesh Kumar Yadav, Ranjit Singh, Satish Joshi and Jenil Krishnan, finished the 2,000 metres race with a timing of five minutes 49.50 seconds in men’s eight rowing event for the silver.
In the women’s lightweight quadruple, India missed a medal after the trio of Amusana Devi Morerangthem, Dittymol Varghese and Tharakurian Priyachanga Mayum finished fourth with a timing of six minutes 57.73sec.
On Thursday, India had won two silver medals in rowing in the men’s four and lightweight men’s four rowing events.
The trap trio of Manavjit Singh Sandhu (119), Mansher Singh (113) and Zorawar Singh Sandhu (109) won the bronze with a total score of 341 at the Aoti Shooting Range, but Manavjit missed an individual medal in a shoot-off.
Manavjit, the 2006 world champion, was the only Indian to qualify for the final and missed the bronze in a shoot-off after he was tied for the third spot with Lebanon’s Joe Salem and Abdo al Yazgie, having shot 136 points. Salem won the bronze with a score of two while Manavjit failed to score in the shoot-off.
In women’s trap, India missed the team bronze by a point. The trio of Shagun Chowdhary (64), Seema Tomar (61) and Shreyasi Singh (56) finished fourth with a score of 181 points. South Koreans Bona Lee (66), Geeeun Kang (59) and Soyeon Eom (57) won the bronze with 182 points.
Sania, a silver medallist at the 2006 Doha Games got the better of China’s Shuai Zheng 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the last 8 stage.
Pankaj Advani could not replicate his billiards performance in the snooker event as he lost 1-4 to Junhui Ding of China in the pre-quarterfinals.
Advani, who won the gold in billiards singles, found it hard to compete with the top-seed Junhui and lost 11-100, 86-0, 1-84, 0-88, 7-88 in the men’s snooker singles.
The hopes of a snooker medal now lie on Aditya Mehta, who plays Yu-Lun Wu of Chinese Taipei in another round of 16 match later in the day.
India have so far won three cue sports medals at the Games.
The Indian women’s hockey team crushed Thailand 13-0 but the emphatic victory Friday came too late in the day as they are already out of the contention for a final berth in the Asian Games.
India converted four of their 11 penalty corners and the rest were field goals. India led 7-0 in the first half.