Murali Sreeshankar won silver in the men’s long jump as the 23-year-old soared to 8.08m in his fifth attempt to end day seven at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Thursday.
Sreeshankar from Palakkad, Kerala, finished second behind Laquan Nairn of Bahamas in a nerve-wracking men’s long jump final. Nairn also had a best jump of 8.08m but his second best of 7.98m was better than 7.84m of Sreeshankar.
Harmanpreet Singh scored a hat-trick, as India trounced Wales 4-1 in their last group stage match to top Pool B. After being held goalless in the first quarter, Harman struck two penalty corners home in the second to put India ahead and then, converted a stroke in the third to complete his hat-trick. Gurjant got the fourth in the final quarter after Gareth Furlong had pulled one back for Wales through a smartly taken penalty corner. India thus finished the pool engagements with three wins and a draw.
Amit Panghal in the men’s 48kg-51kg (Flyweight) class, began India’s fine run in Boxing on the day with a unanimous 5-0 decision on points over Scotsman Lennon Mulligan. Then Jasmine in the women’s 57kg-60kg (Lightweight) category, also reached the semis with a 4-1 result against Troy Garton of New Zealand. Sagar in 92kg+ (Super Heavyweight) class then brought about India’s third win on the day beating Keddy Evans Agnes of Seychelles 5-0 on points to reach his semis. Rohit Tokas notched up a dominating 5-0 win over Xavier Mata’afa-Ikinofo of Niue to also progress to the last four stage and assure of the seventh medal for India from the ring.
In Badminton, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen sailed into the pre-quarterfinals of their respective singles events. Sindhu routed Maldives’ Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq 21-4 21-11 in the women’s singles first round, Srikanth outclassed Daniel Wanagaliya of Uganda 21-9 21-9 in the men’s singles event. Sen and Akarshi Kashyap joined the senior duo in the round of 16 after notching up contrasting wins in their respective opening men’s and women’s singles matches. World championships bronze medallist Sen was up against an opponent more than twice his age — 45-year-old Vernon Smeed of St Helena — and the Indian eased to a 21-1 21-6 win in quick time. However, Kashyap had to toil hard in her opening round match against Mahoor Shahzad and made it the next round after the Pakistani shuttler suffered an injury and retired while trailing 1-8 in the second game.
There was heartbreak in the mixed doubles however with Ashwini Ponappa and B. Sumeeth Reddy, losing to England’s Callum Hemming and Jessica Pugh, 21-18, 21-16 in their Round of 32 match.
India had mixed fortunes in the Squash doubles matches as well with wins coming through Sunayna Kuruvilla and Anahat Singh in the women’s doubles when they beat Yeheni Kuruppu and Sinaly Chanithma of Sri Lanka 11-9, 11-4 in a Round of 32 but lost to Donna Lobban and Rachael Grinham of Australia 4-11, 4-11 in the next round, while Velavan Senthilkumar, paired up with Abhay Singh in the men’s doubles, to get the better of Luca Reich and Joe Chapman of the British Virgin Islands 11-3, 11-1 to move to round of 16.
In the mixed doubles while No.1 seed Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal beat Emily Whitlock and Peter Creed of Wales 11-8, 11-4 in their first game, the experienced Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu and Joshana Chinappa went down to Australia’s Donna Lobban and Cameron Pilley in two straight games, 8-11 and 9-11.
In Table Tennis, Sreeja Akula, Manika Batra and Reeth Rishya entered the women’s singles prequarterfinals with contrasting wins in table tennis. Sreeja beat Malaysia’s Karen Lyne 12-10, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8, Manika notched up a clinical 3-0 win over Canada’s Fu Ching Nam and Reeth defeated England’s Charlotte Bardsley 4-1 in the round of 32. Manika produced a clinical performance against Ching Nam with a 11-5, 11-2, 11-7 scoreline. Her teammate Reeth also outwitted Charlotte 11-8 10-12 11-6 12-10 11-3 in another round of 32 contest.
Sathyan Gnansekaran and Manika Batra, favourites to win the mixed double competition produced a masterclass against a hapless Seychelles pairing of Mick Crea and Laura Sinon, to win 11-1, 11-3, 11-1. India’s second mixed doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula breezed past the Northern Ireland pairing of Owen Cathcart and Sophie Earley 11 – 7, 11 – 8, 11 – 9.
Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Joel Alleyne and Jonathan van Lange of Guyana 11-2, 11-5 and Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty defeated Iosif Elia and Christos Savva of Cyprus 11-6, 11-5, 11-1 in the Table Tennis Men’s Doubles Round of 32
Sanil Shetty and Reeth Tennison going down to Malaysia’s Wong Qi Shen/Tee Ai Xin in a round of 64 match. The Indians lost the first two games 6-11, 10-12 but then came back brilliantly to win the third and fourth games 13-11, 11-8 and level the tie. The Malaysian pair however clinched the final game 11-8.
Hima Das won her women’s 200m heat on the Athletics track with a timing of 23.42s to qualify for the semis.
Mridul Borgohain playing his Section D game in the Lawn Bowls Men’s Singles Sectional, went down to Ross Davis 13-21, suffering his first loss after two good wins yesterday.