India down Pakistan 3-2 in Asiad hockey; medal tally at 24 (Roundup)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GUANGZHOU - India downed sub-continental rivals Pakistan 3-2 in men’s hockey at the Asian Games Saturday, while silvers in golf and sailing and bronzes in snooker and squash took the country’s medal tally to 24. India also entered the medal round in three tennis events.

The Indian men spikers continued their impressive run as they beat Qatar 3-0 to enter the quarterfinals of the volleyball competition. The eves, however, lost to Japan 0-3 in a Group B preliminary match.

Indian archers found the going tough in the men’s recurve competition at the Aoti Archery Range, finishing fourth in the team qualification after the FITA round.

After eight days of competitions, India dropped to 14th place in the medal’s tally, its 24 comprising two gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze.

China head the table with 270 medals (138-65-67), followed by South Korea-152 (52-43-57) and Japan-136 (29-52-55). Iran, Hong Kong, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Malaysia are the other countries above India.

Drag-flicker Sandeep Singh (3rd minute, 48th) converted two penalty corners for India in their group B match, while Dharamvir Singh (16th) slotted one in men’s hockey. Rehan Butt (4th) and Shakeel Abbasi (48th) scored for Pakistan. India led 2-1 at half-time.

The win has catapulted India to the top of group B as they have won all their three matches. Pakistan and Japan are in second place with six points each from three matches. India next face Japan Sunday.

The win completes India’s hat-trick of victories against Pakistan in major tournaments this year, having demolished the arch-rivals in the World Cup and last month’s Commonwealth Games.

Though Pakistan stretched themselves to reverse the trend, the Indians showed their new-found resolve to keep them at bay.

It was by no means a clinical performance by the Indians, but they did enough to enjoy an upper hand for the major part of the game.

The Indian men’s golf team retained their silver medal with the quartet of Rashid Khan, Abhinav Lohan, Abhijit Singh Chadha and Rahul Bajaj finishing second with a total of 10-over 874.

Rashid (3-under 285), Abhinav (3-over 291) and Rahul (22-over 310) provided the three best four-day’s scores for India.

Rashid finished tied fourth in the individual section. He had a woeful fourth round, where he shot a par 72 and finished two strokes behind third placed Chinese Taipei’s Hung.

India won a surprising silver in the men’s open match racing event of sailing competitions through the team comprising Farokh Faramroze Tarapore (skipper), Balraj, Atool Sinha, Shekhar Singh Yadav and Trunal Helengaonkar.

Aditya Mehta potted an unexpected bronze in the men’s snooker singles after losing in the semi-finals as India finished with four cue sports medals at the Games.

Aditya, who defeated stronger opponents en route to the last four, lost to Marco Fu of Hong Kong 20-62, 7-60, 68-55, 15-59, 21-71 at the Asian Games Town Gymnasium.

The 25-year-old’s bronze was a surprise one after India’s top cueist Pankaj Advani suffered an early exit from the snooker event, losing in the pre-quarterfinals.

India’s Saurav Ghoshal lost his semi-final clash against Mohammad Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia to pick up a bronze in the men’s singles squash competition.

World no.25 Saurav fought hard against a player ranked ten places higher than him but eventually lost 5-11, 11-6, 5-11, 10-12.

It was a highly successful day for India in tennis with Sania Mirza moving into the women’s singles and mixed doubles semi-finals, and Somdev and Sanam Singh following suit in the men’s doubles, assuring India of at least three bronze medals.

Somdev and Karan Rastogi also entered the men’s singles quarter-finals.

Sania, ranked 166th, dispatched second-seeded Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-2, 6-3 to set up a semi-final clash with third-seeded Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova.

Sania later combined with Vishnu Vardhan to beat fourth-seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Jung Chuang and Chu-Huan Yi 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 in one hour and 12 minutes. The fourth-seeded Indians now face the top seeded Thai pair of Tanasugarn and Sanchai Ratiwatana.

Earlier, second-seeded Somdev hardly broke sweat during his 6-1, 6-1 win over Uzbek Vaja Uzakov in a match that lasted a mere 39 minutes. He next plays China’s Ze Zhang for a place in the last four.

Somdev along with Sanam also advanced into the men’s doubles semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over China’s Bai Yan and Ze Zhang 6-2, 6-4. They will play South Korea’s Hyun Jun Kim and Jae Cho-Soong for a place in the final.

Rastogi, too, made short work of his third round match against Chen Ti of Chinese Taipei 6-0, 6-4. He next faces a tough opponent in the top seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

Filed under: Golf, Hockey, Tennis, World

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