Shillong: Rising star Ruthvika Shivani created the biggest upset stunning P.V. Sindhu in straight games to win the women’s singles gold medal, as India bagged seven golds and five silver medals in the badminton event of the South Asian Games here on Wednesday. Ruthvika bounced back from a 8-11 deficit to win 21-11, 22-20 in 36 minutes.
“I had never won even a game against her, forget winning a match. It’s the most cherished win and I never expected this,” said Ruthvika, who broke down after the win. “These are tears of joy.”
The women’s duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa overcame some early hiccups against N. Sikki Reddy and Maneesha Kukapalli before winning 21-9, 21-17.
Meanwhile, the hosts’ remarkable domination went uncontested for the fifth successive day as shooters, wushu players and track-and-field athletes annihilated competition to sweep most of the golds up for grabs.
With a whopping 194 medals, including 117 gold, 61 silver and 16 bronze medals, in the kitty, India sit pretty at the top of the table. Following the hosts in the second place are Sri Lanka with an overall count of 133 (24 gold, 46 silver and 63 bronze medals).
The blue-riband event of athletics was expected to trigger gold rush for India and it went pretty much that way with athletes contributing 10 gold medals to the tally.
Mayookha Johny (women’s triple jump), M.R. Poovamma (women’s 400m), Neeraj Chopra (men’s javelin throw), Arokya Rajiv (men’s 400m), Arjun (discus throw), J. Surendhar (men’s 110m hurdles), Gayathry (women’s 100m hurdles), Ankit Sharma (men’s long jump), Sahana Kumari (women’s high jump) and T. Gopi (men’s 10000m) were the ones to clinch top honours.
Also, the women’s 4x100 relay team comprising Dutee Chand, Sini Jose, Srabani Nanda and J. Hemashree settled for a silver. They clocked 45.79 seconds, 0.11 seconds behind Sri Lanka.
Earlier, the Indians dominated the pool once again to pick five gold medals on the final day of the swimming competition to stamp their authority on the event.
Seasoned swimmer Veerdhawal Khade clinched his first gold of the Games by winning the men’s 50m butterfly event.
Other gold winners for India were Shraddha Sudhir (200m medley for women), Jyotsna Pansare (50m butterfly for women) and both the men’s and women’s 4x100 medley relay teams.
In total, India won five gold, three silver and one bronze on the final day of the swimming event.
Khade clinched the gold in 50m butterfly for men in a Games record of 24.54 seconds. The Indian men’s 4x100m medley team also set a new Games record of 3:49.78 while winning the gold. Sri Lanka were initially declared the winnesr of the women’s 4x100m medley relay event while India took the silver. However, the Lankan team was disqualified after one of their swimmers made a false start during the change of legs.
Silver winners for India were Sanu Debnath (200m medley for men), Anshul Kothari (50m butterfly for men) and Avantika Chavan (50m butterfly for women)....