Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa created history by winning the first-ever gold medal in squash but disappointment was in store for the four Indian boxers, including Olympic bronze winner Vijender Singh, who had to be content with a silver each in the 20th Commonwealth Games here today.
Dipika and Joshna stole the limelight with their historic feat as they beat Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro of England 11-6, 11-8 in the womens doubles squash final on the 10th day of competitions in this edition. It was the first squash medal for India in the Commonwealth Games.
Vijender Singh, Mandeep Jangra, Sarita Devi and Devendro Singh were the other star performers during the day with their silver-winning achievements in the boxing ring while A Arpinder Singh bagged a bronze in men's triple jump.
P Kashyap stood just a win away from a historic gold while P V Sindhu and RMV Gurusaidutt managed a bronze each in the badminton competition. Delhi Games gold medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, too, were on course to defend the women's doubles title after winning their last-four match at the Emirates Arena.
Rajinder Rahelu and Sakina Khatun claimed a silver and a bronze each in men's heavyweight and women's lightweight powerlifting, respectively, as India made a last-ditch effort to boost their medals tally.
Vijender, a bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was comprehensively beaten 3-0 by England's Antony Fowler in men's middleweight 75kg bout at the SSE Hydro Arena. With the four silvers today, India has bagged five medals from boxing with Pinki Jangra having won a bronze after losing her semifinal bout against Michaela Walsh of Northern Ireland in women's 51kg category yesterday.
In men's hockey, India came from two goals down to defeat New Zealand 3-2 in the semifinals to set up a summit showdown with holders Australia. Trailing 0-2 in the 18th minute, India sans regular skipper Sardar Singh were revived by strikes from Rupinder Singh Pal, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh, who ensured at least a silver medal.
Yesterday's collection took India's overall tally to 61 with 14 gold, 28 silver and 19 bronze. India maintained their fifth position in the medal standings with England topping the charts with a total collection of 161 medals followed by Australia (130), Canada (81) and Scotland (52).
The fifth-seeded Indian pair of Dipika and Joshna made short work of their English opponents with a 11-6 11-8 win in the best-of-three game final. The Indians looked in some trouble in Game 2 when they trailed 7-2 at one point, but some incredible drop shots from Dipika and Joshna made the win look easy in the end.
Duncalf and Massaro were no match for the absolutely in-sync pair of Joshana and Dipika, who moved rhythmically in the glass show court at the Scotstoun Campus Squash arena. The English duo played traditional squash with no variety at all and played the doubles match with a 'singles' mindset against the Indian players, which seems to have mastered the doubles game.
In boxing, Vijender suffered a knockdown against Fowler as India ended their boxing campaign at the Games on a rather disappointing note. Besides Vijender, Mandeep Jangra (men's 69kg), Laishram Devendro Singh (men's 46-49kg) and Laishram Sarita Devi (women's 57-60kg) lost their final bouts today.
To the dismay of the Indian team, Vijender got a knockdown in the first round itself as he failed to thwart a ferocious punch from the Englishman. Vijender got up in no time but he looked rattled by the blow. Jangra, too, struggled, losing his bout rather tamely, to England's Scott Fitzgerald 3-0 while suffering three knockdowns.
Sarita lost to Shelley Watts of Australia after a gritty fight in women's lightweight (57-60kg) category final while her younger brother was beaten by Paddy Barnes of Northern Ireland in the men's light-flyweight (46-49kg) final. Devendro was no match for Barnes and the unanimous 3-0 verdict in favour of the Irish reflected that. Sarita, a former World Championships silver medallist, lost steam in the later stages and was out-punched 3-0.
Jangra, too, struggled, losing his bout rather tamely, to England's Scott Fitzgerald 3-0.
Kashyap played out of his skin to avenge his loss to England's Rajiv Ouseph, who had beaten him at the 2010 Delhi Games. Kashyap won 18-21 21-17 21-18.
World Championship bronze winners Jwala and Ashwini notched up an easy 21-7 21-12 win over Lai Pei Jing and Loo Yin Lim. However, it turned out to be a bitter-sweet day for top seed P V Sindhu as she suffered a heartbreaking loss in the women's single semifinal match to Michelle Li of Canada. Sindhu managed to get her act together to beat Malaysia's Jing Yi Tee 23-21 21-9 in a 34-minute bronze medal contest. Gurusaidutt, too, earned India a bronze when he eked out a hard-fought 21-15 14-21 21-19 win over Ouseph.
The Indian athletics team was hoping for a medal from Arpinder after he leapt a brilliant 17.17m in June and he lived upto the expectations by winning a bronze with a best jump of 16.63m at the Hampden Park which was hit by evening rain.
The 21-year-old Arpinder achieved his best jump in his first attempt and could not improve upon the mark in his subsequent five efforts. He had a series of 16.46m, 16.31m and 16.09m after his first effort while his last two attempts were foul jumps.
In hockey, the Kiwis drew first blood in the second minute with Simon Child taking a neat cross pass to put the ball screeching into the net. The Black Sticks continued with their fine show and three minutes later, Hugo Inglis fired at the net again but this time it was stopped by the Indian goalkeeper Sreejesh Ravindran. Indian fullback Rupinder also came up a with a forceful hit at the Kiwi net but goalkeeper Hamish McGregor was alert to put the strike at bay. The New Zealanders missed a penalty corner in the 10th minute but they did not repeat the mistake when they got the next opportunity, as hard-hitter Nick Haig scored on the rebound to double the lead in the 18th minute.
Indians got their one and only penalty corner in the 27th minute and drag flicker V R Raghunath hit the chest of a Kiwi player on the net. The on-field referee gave India a penalty stroke as part of obstruction. Rupinder, who took the stroke, gave India their first goal in the 28th minute.
Coming from the bench after a two-minute suspension post a green card, Child missed an open goal in the dying minutes of the first half as the scoreline read 2-1 after 35 minutes.
Achanta Sharath Kamal proved to be no match for Singapore's Jian Zhan as the Indian was blanked 4-0 in a one-sided men's singles table tennis semifinal match. The top Indian paddler lost 11-6 11-6 11-6 11-8 to his 32-year-old opponent from Singapore at the Scotstown Camp.