Archery was the silver lining on a day when the rowers and shooters continued to add more bronze to India’s tally. The men’s compound archery team reached the finals and thus assured India of at least a silver medal. Squash continued with its medal boom but perhaps the biggest news of the day was India’s defeat to Pakistan in men’s hockey in a keenly contested encounter. Let’s have a look at India’s performances on Day 6.
Rowing – Rowing kept up India’s medal rush on a day where the more fancied shooters failed to live up to the expectations. Sawarn Singh Virk secured the third spot in single sculls to give India her second bronze from the lake before India picked up the bronze in the men’s eights category as well.
India had strong hopes for gold in the final as Sawarn Singh Virk led for the 1st km of the race but fatigue and exhaustion towards the end cost him the gold as well as the silver. Nevertheless the 24-year-old Armyman can be proud of his performance as he had to battle severe back for the last six months yet managed to come away with a medal. The gutsy effort saw him clock 7 minutes 10.65 seconds which was even faster than the 7 minutes 29.66 seconds that he had achieved at the London Olympics two years ago.
The men’s eight team comprising Kapil Sharma, Ranjit Singh, Bajrang Lal Takhar, P U Robin, K Sawan Kumar, Mohammad Azad, Maninder Singh, Davinder Singh and Mohammed Ahmed put in a measured performance to race to the bronze in 5:51.84.
Shooting – Shooters didn’t have a fruitful stint at the range once again as India came a cropper in the men’s 50m rifle prone. The trio of Joydeep Karmakar, Gagan Narang and Hariom Singh narrowly missed the bronze after aggregating 1852.8. In men’s 25m standard pistol event, it was a case of near-miss once again as Gurpreet Singh squandered a wonderful opportunity to ultimately finish outside the medal bracket.
However, women’s double trap event brought some joy back to our shooting contingent as the team consisting of Shagun Chowdhary, Shreyasi Singh and Varsha Varman bagged the bronze. Chowdhary was the best of the trio scoring 96 while Shreyasi had 94 and Varman had 89.
The Indian team with an aggregate of 279 finished behind China and South Korea who had scored 315 and 314 respectively.
Assurance of medals
Archery – As the nation clamoured for a medal other than the numerous bronze India keeps on adding at Incheon, archers answered to the call and guaranteed at least a silver in men’s compound team event. The men’s team comprising Abhishek Verma, Sandeep Kumar and Rajat Chauhan edged past Iran 231-227 to set up a final showdown with hosts South Korea. In an impressive performance, Rajat Chauhan notched up six 10s while Abhishek Verma chipped in with five 10s to lead India’s march into the final.
Trisha Deb and Abhishek Verma though are still not guaranteed of a medal but they are within sniffing distance of a medal in the individual category. Trisha kept the tricolour flying high with a comprehensive 142-131 defeat of Sabnam Sarlak of Iran in the quarter-finals. But the star of the day was undoubtedly Abhishek Verma who created a massive upset. Abhishek put up a scintillating display to stun heavy favourite and second seed Choi Yonghee of Korea147-142 in the quarter-final.
Squash – The Indian Women’s team stormed into the semi-finals after finishing at the top of their group. In their last contest in the group stage, where they had to face China, the Indian women came out with flying colours, beating the Chinese 3-0. Dipika Pallikal won her match 3-1 while Joshna Chinappa and Anaka Alankamony each won 3-0.
In the men’s team competition too India made the semis but they finished second in the group stage. India got the better of Japan 3-0. Mahesh Mangaokar, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Saurav Ghosal each won their respective matches 3-0. However India had a tough outing versus Malaysia losing 1-2. Both Harinder Pal Sandhu and Kush Kumar lost their matches while Mahesh Mangaokar got a retirement win.
India thus assure medals in both men’s and women’s team events.
The other news from Incheon
Men’s Hockey – In a highly anticipated clash, defending champions Pakistan got the better of India 2-1. India crated a lot of chances but poor execution cost them the match. Muhammad Umar Bhutta and Muhammad Waqas scored for Pakistan while Nikkin Thimmaiah scored the lone goal for India. Pakistan thus finish at the top of Pool B.
Badminton – India’s medal hopes in badminton singles event received a major jolt as World No. 10 PV Sindhu crashed out, losing 22-20, 16-21, 20-22 to Indonesian Manuputty Bellaetrix, ranked 34th. World No. 7 Saina Nehwal had a convincing 21-7, 21-6 victory over Iran’s Soraya Aghaeihajiagha in the Round of 16. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap too opened his singles campaign on a winning note. Kashyap notched up an emphatic 21-6, 21-6 triumph over Afghanistan’s Iqbal Ahmad Shekib.
But the star performer on Thursday was the men’s doubles team of Sumeet Reddy/Manu Attri who created a huge upset by beating the World No. 10 Chinese pair Liu Xialong and Qiu Zihan 21-17 21-16 to move into the quarter-finals.
Boxing – 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar bowed out in the light welter weight 64 kg division, losing to Japan’s Masatsagu Kawachi. In a closely contest bout, Manoj did come back to win the third round but it was not enough to stop the Japanese. However 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Devendro Singh had a free pass to the round of 16 when his opponent failed to turn up for the bout in the 49kg.
Cycling – Cyclists continued to disappoint yet again as Amarjit Singh and Amrit Singh both ended fifth in their respective repechage heats in the Men’s Keirin and thus couldn’t advance any further.
Tennis – There was good news in tennis as most of the Indians in action progressed. In men’s singles, Yuki Bhambri thrashed Al Mutawa of Qatar 6-1 6-0 to enter 3rd round and Sanam Singh defeated Abdul Hameed Alshatti 6-1, 6-2 to move into 3rd round as well.
In Women’s singles, India No. 1 Ankita Raina showed her class by thumping her Mongolian opponent D Gotov 6-0 6-0 to sail into the 3rd round. There was positive news coming from men’s doubles as well as Sanam Singh and Saketh Myneni beat the Korean pair Nam & Cho 6-3 6-4 to move into the second round.
However there was no such luck for the women’s doubles pair of Rishika Sunkara and Shweta Rana who lost to third seeds Eri Hozumi and Shuko Aoyama of Japan 1-6 4-6.
Sailing – Varsha Gautham and Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan held on to their lead in the 29er class at half-way mark. However none of the other boats are in medal contention anymore. Ramya Saravanan finished 5th in the Women’s One person Dinghy – Optimist. Upamanyu Dutta and Arosh Chaudhari finished 8th in the Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 420. Diya Anna Correa & Zara Khuzaima Arsiwalla wee placed 5th in the Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 420.
Golf – The Indian tem are currently tied 5th at the end of Day 1.Taipei and Korea lead the competition so far.
Medal Rush – India added three more bronze to her tally – 2 in Rowing and 1 in Shooting. Team India was also assured of three more medals – a silver at least in men’s compound team archery and a bronze each in men’s and women’s squash team events.
News of the Day – The biggest news was unfortunately India’s defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan in the highly-anticipated clash. Here’s hoping India can rectify their mistakes and improve on their performance.
Comeback of the day – Sawarn Singh Virk’s show of courage by overcoming severe back pain to come away with a medal in single sculls in men’s rowing was definitely laudable.