Saraswati leads charge in lifting; Joshna in semis

Saraswati leads charge in lifting; Joshna in semis

 Indians continued to dominate the weightlifting competition of the 12th South Asian Games, winning three out of the four gold medals on offer here on Sunday.

Saraswati Rout kick-started the hosts’ day on a superb note, lifting a total weight of 187kg (80+107) to claim the gold in the women’s 58kg discipline. Sambo Lapung then added sheen with a lift of 281kg (123+158) to wear gold in the men’s 69kg event.

Reena was eliminated in the women’s 63kg event but army man Ajay Singh completed a wonderful day for the Indians in office, triumphing in the 77kg event with a lift of 305kg (136+169).

Lankans sparkle

Indians were forced to share the spoils with Sri Lanka in the cycling lane with women completing a 1-2 and the men managing just a bronze.

In the 40km criterium race, Lidiyamol Sunny Menamparambil garnered 30 points to capture the gold while Manorama Devi Tongram was four points behind in second place. Sri Lanka’s Sudarika Priyadarshani, with a mere nine points, won bronze.

Sri Lanka’s Jeevan Manjula Jayasinghe scored 34 points to win the gold in the men’s 60km criterium, 10 ahead of his second-placed compatriot  Naveen Ruchira. Pankaj Kumar claimed bronze after totalling 21 points.

Squash

There were plenty of disappointments in store for the hosts at the squash court after title favourite Saurav Ghosal and compatriot Harinder Pal Singh tumbled out to Pakistani counterparts in the men’s singles semifinals.

While Harinder conceded his match to Nasir Iqbal after pulling his right hamstring while trailing 7-11, 14-12, 7-11, 6-11, Ghosal was completely outclassed by third seed Farhan Zaman, the Indian losing 4-11, 5-11, 12-10, 5-11 much to the surprise of many.

The lone bright spark for the hosts was Joshna Chinnappa, who blanked Pakistani Sadia Gul 11-7, 11-9, 11-7. In the final on Sunday, she will take on World No 50 Maria Toorpaki Wazir of Pakistan.

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