M A I N   N E W S

Lifters open Indiaís tally
l Swimming relay team enters finals
l Leander, Sania make winning start
l Saina blanks Kenyan in badminton 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 4
A gold medal remained elusive for India on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games but consolation was provided by women weightlifters, who won two medals ó a silver and a bronze each ó to open the teamís account on the meadalís tally.

Soniya Chanu (silver) and Sandhya Rani Devi (bronze) bagged the medals in the 48 kg category of the weightlifting competiton, the gold in which was claimed by Nigeriaís Augustina Nwaokolo. Nwaokolo and Chano had an identical clearance of 94-kg in the snatch competiton but the African lifter was superior in the clean and jerk and claimed the gold with a new Games record. The bronze went to Sandhya Rani.

Later, menís lifters swelled the tally by adding two more medals of the same hue. Sukhen Dev (silver) and VS Rao (bronze) in the 56-kg category took the tally to four medals for the lifters.

Elsewhere, the Indian swimmers created a splash with the relay team making history by reaching the finals for the first time in the Commonwealth Games, tennis stars Leander and Sania expectedly made a winning start in the mixed doubles and the badminton team led by the indomitable Saina Nehwal blanked Kenya 5-0.

Leander and Sania reached the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles event with a facile 6-1, 6-0 win over St Luciaís Stacy Roheman and Alberton Richelieu.

Earlier in the day, The men's 4x400m freestyle swimming relay quartet of Virdhawal Khade, Anshul Kothari, Arjun Jayaprakash and Aaron D'Souza finished sixth in the heats to make the final where they finished in the same position clocking 3 mins, 27.14 secs.

"This is really fantastic. We have made history by reaching the final for the first time in Commonwealth Games competition," said an elated swimming team coach Pradeep Kumar.

India also made a resounding start in tennis and table tennis but suffered a major blow in squash when top woman player Dipika Pallikal pulled out following a bout of mild fever.

Three other squash players - Sourav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Siddharth Suchde progressed to the round of 32. Indian women, seeded second in the table tennis team event, started with a bang blanking Sri Lanka 3-0 in Group D at the Yamuna Sports complex.

Mouma Das, Shamini Kumareshan and reigning national champion Poulomi Ghatak won their matches without dropping a game.

Ace shuttlers Chetan Anand and Saina Nehwal led from the front as India took less than an hour to inflict a 5-0 defeat on Kenya in a one-sided match of the preliminary stage of Group D in the badminton mixed team event.

In tennis Rohan Bopanna and Rushmi Chakravarthi scored dominant victories in the singles as India made a confident start to its camapign in the tennis event of the Commonwealth Games. Bopanna opened India's account with an effortless 6-1 6-4 win over Uganda's Rober Buyinza in the first round of the men's singles while Chakravarthi demolished Lesotho's Pinki Agnes Montlha 6-0 6-1 in the women' singles.





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