Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa etched their name in Indian squash history by winning the country’s first Commonwealth Games medal - a gold - from the discipline, while boxers, powerlifters and shuttlers, and a triple jumper picked up a clutch of prized metals on the penultimate day of competition here Saturday.India’s medal count swelled to an impressive 61 as men pugilists Vijender Singh, L. Devendro Singh, Mandeep Jangra and their woman counterpart L. Sarita Devi finished with silvers. Powerlifter Sakina Khatun and shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and R.M.V. Gurusaidutt added to the tally by picking up bronze pieces.
The medal bounty - 14 gold medals, 28 silver and 19 bronze - affirmed India’s fifth rank on the leaderboard, after England, Australia, Canada and hosts Scotland. India will be in the medals race on the concluding day as well, with the men’s hockey team taking on holders Australia in the final, and shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap and the pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa reaching the summit round.Pallikal and Chinappa combined well to run away with the women's doubles final in straight games 11-6, 11-8 against England's Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.
Though Dipika and Joshana won the first game quite comfortably, they were trailing in the second to the English pair. However, the Indians displayed nerves of steel to overtake their opponents and come out on top to clinch the yellow metal.India’s hopes for boxing gold remained unfulfilled, with all the four pugilists capitulating in the finals.Manipur’s Sarita Devi went down 1:3 to Australia's Shelley Watts in the women's 57-60 kg, while her statemate Devendro lost a close bout 1:2 to defending champion Paddy Barnes of Northern Ireland in men’s 49 kg.Fancied boxer Vijender capitulated 1-2 to England's Anthony Fowler in the 75 kg category, while Jangra finished on the wrong side of a 0-3 result in the 69 kg class.
In powerlifting, Rahelu picked up a total of 180.5 kg to ensure a second highest podium finish in the men's heavyweight category.In women’s lightweight (up to 61 kg), Sakina lifted a total weight of 88.2 kg to finish third and give the country its first medal of the day.But there was disappointment from para powerlifter Farman Basha, who failed to finish in men's light weight group B. Farman's first lift of 145 kg was declared 'no lift' while his second attempt of 147kg was a 'good lift' after which he pulled out.In the badminton court, men's singles second seed Kashyap earned a hard-fought three-game semi-final victory over England's Rajiv Ouseph in the semi final. After going down 18-21 in the first game, Kashyap came back strongly to win the next two 21-17, 21-18 in a marathon match which lasted an hour and 23 minutes.Kashyap will take on Singapore's Derek Wong in the final Sunday.
Shuttler R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, who lost out to Wong in the semi final, later defeated English third seed Rajiv Ouseph 21-15, 14-21, 21-19 to win the singles bronze.Women's doubles defending champions Jwala and Ashwini kept themselves on track for another shot at the title. The Indian combine had a rather easy outing by taking the match opposite Malaysia's Loo Yin Lim and Lai Pei Jing in straight games 21-7, 21-12.The women’s singles fight saw Sindhu suffer a disappointing straight games loss in the semi-final to Canadian fourth seed Michelle Li. But the 19-year-old re-composed herself later to triumph in the bronze medal playoff against Malaysia's Jing Yi Tee 23-21, 21-9.In track and field, Arpinder Singh won the men’s triple jump bronze with a best leap of 16.63 m.But in a huge setback, defending champions India were disqualified from the women's 4x400m relay finals.
The reasons behind their disqualifications were not known immediately.Earlier, Indian weightlifter Santoshi Matsa's bronze was converted into silver while Swati Singh, who had finished fourth, was given the bronze medal after Nigerian teenager Chika Amalaha was stripped of her gold medal in the women's 53kg category for failing a dope test.In a sparkling display, India stole a stunning come-from-behind 3-2 win over higher ranked New Zealand in the men's hockey semi-final.Goals from Simon Child and Nick Haig gave World No.6 New Zealand a 2-0 lead but India, World No.9, came back strongly with strikes from Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh to book a place in the final.Seasoned paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal, a three-time CWG champion, lost out on a bronze medal after he went down 2-4 to England's Liam Pitchford in the men's singles play-off.