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Neeraj, Manika, Sanjeev delight: 3 boxing gold, 2 wrestling gold swell India’s pride

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Neeraj Chopra

Gold Coast, April 14 : Neeraj Chopra and Manika Batra clinched India’s first-ever gold medals in men’s javelin throw and women’s singles table tennis respectively while boxers Vikas Krishan, M.C. Mary Kom and Gaurav Solanki claimed top podium finishes. Golden wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sumit Kumar and shooter Sanjeev Rajput took third-placed India’s tally to 59 medals (25 gold, 16 silver, 18 bronze) at the end of Day 10 of the 21st Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.

Among other success stories, defending champions Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa stormed into the final of women’s doubles category while Dipika and Saurav Ghosal clinched silver in the mixed doubles, even as both the men’s and the women’s hockey teams lost to England in the bronze medal matches.

Moreover, shuttlers P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and men’s doubles pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty reached the finals while the women’s doubles combine of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy bagged the bronze medal.

Paddlers also had a great day, with the men’s doubles pairs of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, and Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shankar Shetty bagged the silver and bronze medal respectively on a day three boxers Satish Kumar (91kg), Amit Panghal (49kg) and Manish Kaushik (60kg) settled for silvers.

However, Mary, a five-time world champion, defeated Kristina O’Hara of Northern Ireland by a unanimous 5:0 verdict to take the women’s 48kg title in probably her final CWG campaign.

Vikas defeated Dieudonne Wilfried Seyi Ntsengue of Cameroon by a 5:0 unanimous verdict in a close contest in the 75kg category, while Gaurav (52kg) won by a split 4:1 verdict against Brendan Irvine of Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, India’s Manish had to be content with silver in the men’s lightweight (60kg) division after losing 2:3 to Harry Garside of Australia in a hard-fought final.

Amit finished with the silver medal after losing 1:3 to England’s Galai Yafai in the final, while Satish lost the final of the 91kg category, losing 0-5 by unanimous verdict to England’s Frazer Clarke. This is the first time India got a silver medal in the super heavyweight category in the CWG.

Apart from these six boxers, three others, Muhammed Hussamuddin, Naman Tanwar and Manoj Kumar claimed bronze medals on Friday as Indian completed its boxing campaign with nine medals.

In athletics, javelin thrower Neeraj delighted the country as he registered his season’s best performance of 86.47 metres to win the final, while Vipin Kashana, the other Indian in the fray, took the fifth spot with an attempt of 77.87m.

Jinson Johnson set a new national record of 3 minutes and 37.86 seconds while taking the fifth spot in the men’s 1,500m final. Promising Arpinder Singh also missed a podium spot in the men’s triple jump with a a best attempt of 16.46m to finish fourth.

Shooter Sanjeev Rajput clinched the gold medal in men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions, shooting a total of 454.5 to create a meet record, while Chain Singh, the other Indian in the fray, finished fifth with 419.1.

But the Indian contingent had to return empty-handed from the men’s Trap event as Kynan Chenai and Manavjit Sandhu failed to qualify for the final.

Rajput’s medal was India’s 16th medal in shooting, which includes seven gold medals as the event came to close here.

In wrestling, Sumit won all his four bouts in the Nordic (round robin) format to emerge champion. Korey Jarvis of Canada got the silver while Pakistan’s Tayab Raza took the bronze.

Among the women, Vinesh won gold in the 50kg competition as she ended at the top of the standings at the end of the Nordic format.

Somveer bagged bronze in the men’s 86kg division, defeating Alexander Moore of Canada 7-3 in the bronze medal play-off.

Rio Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik took the bronze medal in the women’s 62kg category.

In badminton, it was yet another superb show, with at least a gold medal assured as World No.3 Sindhu will meet seasoned compatriot and World No.12 Saina in an all-Indian women’s singles final on Sunday.

While Olympic 2016 silver medallist Sindhu thrashed Canada’s Michelle Li 21-18, 21-8 in the semi-final, Saina overcame Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour, winning by 21-14, 18-21, 21-17.

In the men’s singles, World No.1 Srikanth set his final date with Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei. While Srikanth registered an easy 21-10, 21-17 victory over England’s Rajiv Ouseph, Chong Wei overcame World No.11 Prannoy 21-16, 9-21, 21-14.

Prannoy then lost to World No.22 Ouseph 21-17, 23-25, 9-21 in the bronze medal match at the Carrara Sports Arena here.

In the men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag thrashed Sri Lanka’s Sachin Dias and Buwaneka Goonethilleka 21-18, 21-10 to enter the final.

Ashwini and Sikki bagged the women’s doubles bronze medal, beating Australians Setyana Mapasa and Gronya Somerville 21-19, 21-19.

Ashwini and Satwik had a poor day in the mixed doubles, losing their semi-final as well as the bronze medal playoff.

In squash, the women’s doubles pair of Dipika and Joshna beat England’s Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry 11-10, 11-5 to seal their place in the final.

However, in the mixed doubles category, Dipika, who then partnered Saurav Ghosal and settled for a silver, losing 8-11, 10-11 to Australia’s Donna Urquhart and Cameron Pilley in the final.

In hockey, the Indian men’s team lost 1-2 to England, while the women’s team suffered a 0-6 thrashing.

In the men’s category, Sam Ward (sixth, 43rd minutes) twice converted penalty corners to give England the win over India, who had restored parity in the 26th minute later with a successful penalty corner conversion from Varun Kumar.

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Kasatkina wins Kremlin Cup title, ends Jabeur’s historic run

Kasatkina’s victory also means she will head to the WTA Finals in Singapore after overtaking Aryna Sabalenka as the first alternate.

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Picture Credit Twitter : @DKasatkina

Moscow, Oct 20 : Daria Kasatkina of Russia won the Kremlin Cup title on Saturday, prevailing over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 and ending Jabeur’s historic run in which she became her country’s first-ever WTA finalist.

Kasatkina, World No. 14 and her country’s highest-ranked player, needed a little over two hours to claim her second WTA trophy and her first on home soil, having lost to Germany’s Julia Gorges in straight sets in the 2017 championship match, reports Efe.

But Saturday’s match looked to be headed in a similar direction as her 24-year-old Tunisian opponent, ranked world No. 101, easily came out on top in the opening set and took a 4-1 lead in the second.

However Kasatkina staged a comeback, and two extremely long breaks in a row sent them into the tie-breaker, which the 22-year-old Russian won.

After a tough third set, Kasatkina outlasted Jabeur and won the Premier-level trophy, becoming one of the few Russian players to do so, alongside Anastasia Myskina (2003-2004), Anna Chakvetadze (2006), Elena Dementieva (2007), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2014) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (2015-2016), according to the WTA.

Kasatkina’s victory also means she will head to the WTA Finals in Singapore after overtaking Aryna Sabalenka as the first alternate.

IANS

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La Liga: Levante stuns Real Madrid 2-1

After Saturday’s loss, a struggling Real Madrid has failed to win its last four Spanish league matches, suffering three defeats and a draw, reports Efe.

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Levante Real Madrid
Picture Credit Twitter @EjeCentral

Madrid, Oct 20 : On the strength of two goals in the opening minutes, Levante stunned Real Madrid 2-1 on Saturday, earning their second-ever win against Madrid and their third consecutive La Liga victory.

After Saturday’s loss, a struggling Real Madrid has failed to win its last four Spanish league matches, suffering three defeats and a draw, reports Efe.

Los Blancos conceded two goals in the first 13 minutes, then suffered a run of bad luck as they hit the woodwork three times and had two goals ruled out.

Madrid’s third consecutive defeat in all competitions brings coach Julen Lopetegui one step closer to departure, as the team was overwhelmed by a brave Levante squad who relied on five players in the midfield, a strategy that paid off more quickly than they may have imagined.

Just six minutes into the first half, Levante left wing Jose Luis Morales got a long pass by defender Sergio Postigo and took advantage of a lapse of concentration from Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, dribbling past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and putting it home.

The VAR stepped in a few minutes later when a nervous Varane touched the ball with his hand and the referee initially awarded Levante a free kick on the edge of the penalty area.

After the VAR team’s review, the call was changed to a penalty kick that Roger Marti successfully converted.

Just a few minutes later, Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio scored after seizing on a ricocheted ball off the woodwork, but the referee ruled it offside after checking the video replay.

Shortly before the break, Levante’s Ruben Rochina scored what could have been a third goal if not for the VAR team, who disallowed it for being offside.

As the minutes ticked away, Real Madrid was under increasing pressure, and coach Lopetegui’s changes – first inserting French forward Karim Benzema and then Walsh forward Gareth Bale – failed to bring the desired result.

Los Blancos got on the scoreboard in the 72nd minute on a close-range shot by Brazilian defender Marcelo, who broke the team’s record goalless drought of eight hours and one minute, but the equalizer remained beyond their reach.

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Shuttler Srikanth out; Saina in final of Denmark Open

Srikanth struggled from the start and failed to find his rhythm which cost him the match.

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saina nehwal
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Odense (Denmark), Oct 20 : Star Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lost his men’s singles semi-final match to Kento Momota of Japan while Saina Nehwal entered the women’s singles final of the Denmark Open here on Saturday.

Second seed Momota took 42 minutes to outplay the seventh seed Indian shuttler 21-16, 21-12 in straight games to advance while Saina got the better of Gregoria Mariska Tunjunng of Indonesia 21-11 21-12 in a lop-sided affair which lasted 49 minutes.

It was a cake walk for Saina as she hardly broke sweat to beat her opponent.

Srikanth struggled from the start and failed to find his rhythm which cost him the match.

Earlier, late on Friday night, Saina Nehwal and Srikanth entered the semi-finals of the Denmark Open but were made to sweat en route by Nozomi Okuhara and Sameer Verma respectively.

Saina came back from a game down to beat familiar foe and world number seven Okuhura of Japan 17-21, 21-16, 21-12 in the quarter-final lasting 58 minutes on Friday night.

On the other hand, Srikanth too had to grind it out against countryman Verma with little separating the two in the men’s singles last-eight clash.

In the end, Srikanth prevailed over the 23rd ranked Indian in an epic battle lasting an hour and 18 minutes with the final scoreline reading 22-20, 19-21, 23-21.

Verma had the upper hand for major parts of the third and deciding game where he even had a 17-13 lead before Srikanth roared back to eke out the triumph.

In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost to top seeds Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in the quarter-finals.

IANS

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