CWG: India retain second spot in close race with England


New Delhi: India retained its number two spot in the overall medals tally on the penultimate of the Commonwealth Games with the men’s doubles pair winning the table tennis gold in the evening after some disappointment when defending champion Sharat Kamal crashed out of the singles’ event.

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India, which had been in the second spot in the overall medal tally since the competitions began Oct 4, yielded the place to England earlier in the day with both tied on 32 gold but England had more silver medals.

But the victory of Sharat Kamal and Shubajit Saha in the men’s doubles table tennis final over the Singaporean pair of Gao Ning and Yang Zi gave India the 33rd gold and took them ahead of England in what is turning out to be a prestigious neck-and-neck race.

With India contesting the badminton (women’s singles) and hockey finals Thursday, it has a good chance of nosing England out and retaining its second spot in the overall medals tally.

At 1900 IST, Australia was way ahead with 69 gold in a whopping total tally of 158 medals.

However, there was disappointment for table tennis fans in the morning when reigning champion Sharat Kamal lost to Singaporean Yang 3-4 in the semifinals. India is assured of a bronze in the singles as Sharath will face compatriot Soumyadeep Roy in the third place play-off. Soumyadeep went down to top seed Gao 0-4 in the first semifinal.

There was also some bad news on the athletic front where Rani Yadav failed the dope test after the 20 km walk.

Rani tested positive for banned anabolic agent 19-Norandrosterone, the Commonwealth Games Federation said. The 20-year-old, who finished sixth in the competition Saturday, has provisionally been suspended pending a hearing.

This is the third positive test of the Games, Nigerian sprinter and women’s 100m champion Oludamola Osayomi, and her team-mate, the 110m hurdler Samuel Okon, being the other two. Both tested positive for using the banned stimulant Methylexaneamine.

Osayomi has been stripped of her gold medal, and all her results in the Games nullified.

Though the shooters did not win a gold Wednesday, their medal tally of 30 surpassed their Melbourne Games count of 27. However, they won 14 gold in Delhi while they had got 16 in Melbourne four years ago.

Pistol shooter Heena Sidhu missed the gold by 0.3 points and Samresh Jung settled for the bronze while Gagan Narang failed to qualify for the final of the 50 metre rifle prone individual event. Narang, however, emerged as the best shooter with four golds.

In the men’s 25 metre standard pistol, Samresh won the bronze with a score of 559 while the gold went to Singapore’s Bin Gai, who shot a total of 570. Trinidad and Tobago’s Daniel Peter Rogers got the silver with a score of 563.

India now has a medal tally of 33:25:34 behind Australia’s 69:46:43 and ahead of England’s 32:52:43 (as at 1900 IST).