Shooter Manu, weightlifter Punam, women’s table tennis team swell country’s gold count.
Gold Coast: It was women power at its best as India won a historic table tennis team gold stunning defending champions Singapore while shooter Manu Bhaker (10m air pistol) and weightlifter Punam Yadav (69kg) were a cut above the rest at the 21st Commonwealth Games, helping the country to three gold medals on Sunday.
Manu Bhaker shattered two records en route to adding a CWG gold medal to her growing list of achievements in a nascent career, forcing Heena Sidhu to settle for a silver.
The 16-year-old Bhaker shot a CWG finals record 240.9, well ahead of Sidhu’s 234.
Appearing in his maiden CWG like Bhaker, Ravi Kumar (224.1) claimed the bronze medal in men’s 10m air rifle event after a shoot-off, while Saniya Sheikh was fourth in the women’s skeet finals with 32.
India held on to their fourth position in the medals tally, having claimed seven gold, two silver and three bronze medals so far. The day’s other medal came from weightlifter Vikas Thakur (bronze, 94 kg).
In the table tennis women’s team event, Manika inspired India to a 3-1 victory over four-time gold medallists Singapore in the final.
World no. 58 Batra defeated world number four Feng Tianwei 3-2 (11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7) before brushing aside 100th-ranked Yihan Zhou 3-0 (11-7 11-4 11-7) to help India pull off a sensational win over a team, who have never lost in the CWG since the sport was inducted in the competition in 2002.
It was India’s second table tennis team gold at the Games with the men finishing on top at Melbourne in 2006.
Apart from Batra, the Madhurika Patkar-Mouma Das pair won the crucial doubles tie 3-1 (11-7 11-6 8-11 11-7) against Zhou and Mengyu Yu to give India a 2-1 lead. After Batra beat Feng to put India 1-0 ahead, Mengyu Yu equalised for Singapore with a 13-11, 11-2, 11-6 victory over Madhurika .
Batra then proved to be too good for Yihan.
In weightlifting, Uttar Pradesh’s Punam pulled off a personal best of 222kg (110kg+122kg) to claim the top spot ahead of England’s Sarah Davies (217kg — 95kg+122kg). Thakur lifted a total of 351kg (159kg+192kg) on a day when Papua New Guinea’s Steven Kari broke the CWG record in clean and jerk for a total lift of 370kg (154kg+216kg).
It’s mind over matter for Manu
An uncluttered mind helps her win, shooter Manu Bhaker said after claiming the 10m air pistol gold at the Commonwealth Games here on Sunday. The 16-year-old Manu Bhaker broke the Games record (240.9) at the Belmont Shooting Centre, ahead of her compatriot Heena Sidhu (234).
The Haryana-girl’s gold opened India’s CWG account in shooting.
“It just happened, I only worked on my technique, rest just happened,” Bhaker said after winning.
“Shooting is an uncomplicated sport, take aim and shoot. That’s why it’s important not to think too much. If you think too much, then it becomes complex,” she explained, sounding wise beyond her age.
Manu, the youngest Indian to claim a World Cup gold, said she didn’t have any specific target on Sunday.
“I had been working on my technique for a long time. I just got that right, rest is a result of that. I didn’t have any targets for today. I was just shooting, I am just happy,” she added.