From the boxing ring to the shooting range to the athletics arena, it was India shining on the penultimate day of the 21st Commonwealth Games where the country claimed its biggest single-day haul of the ongoing edition, ensnaring eight gold medals across five disciplines. The boxers picked up three, the shooters added one, the wrestlers claimed a couple, while the paddlers and the track-and-field contingent picked up one each on a truly golden day for the country, which also yielded five silver and one bronze medal.
It all started at the shooting ranges in Brisbane, where Sanjeev Rajput shattered the Games' qualifying record before finishing on top in the 50m rifle 3 position final. "I would say it was a weak final for me because I have been shooting 458 plus all the time, but this time it was weak in the kneeling position and I had to cover it somehow in the prone but, still again, not so good in the standing," said the shooter, not particularly satisfied with his effort but one which was enough to get him his first CWG gold.
The wrestlers were at it at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Center. Sumit (125kg) and Vinesh Phogat (50kg) picked up the top honours in their respective categories even as Olympic bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik (62kg) settled for a third-place finish, along with Somveer (86kg).
At the boxing arena of the Oxenford Studios, M C Mary Kom (48kg) was joined by Vikas Krishan (75kg) and Gaurav Solanki (52kg) in scripting history. The boxers, led by three, finished with nine medals in all, their best ever performance, two better than the previous best attained at 2010 Delhi Games.
Boxer Gaurav Solanki on Saturday won India another gold medal at the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. Solanki defeated Northern Ireland's Brendan Irvine in the final bout of men's 52kg category to win the gold medal. Solanki provided the golden touch, pulling it off 4-1 over Irvine. The Indian lost the third round but did just enough in the first two to walk away with a gold medal on debut at the Games.
In the afternoon, Neeraj Chopra wrote his own little piece of history at the Carrara stadium when he became the first Indian javelin thrower to claim a gold medal. His gold was only the fifth for India in track and field. The 20-year-old destroyed competition with his very first throw of 85.50m before taking it a notch higher with a season's best effort of 86.47m. None in the field came close to his performance even though he himself seemed a shade disappointed on missing a personal best by "just one centimetre".
Good news poured in from the TT venue of the Oxenford Studios where Manika Batra, in perhaps the form of her life, became the first woman paddler to claim a gold medal. "This is my first individual medal in this big tournament (women's singles) and I am feeling really proud," said the 22-year-old, who had earlier starred in the gold-winning team performance before clinching the women's doubles gold with Mouma Das.
Dipika Pallikal and Sourav Ghosal picked up the mixed doubles squash silver, while Sanil Shetty and Harmeet Desai claimed the second position in table tennis men's doubles. The lone bronze of the day was delivered by shuttlers N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa.
Indian wrestler Sumit Malik claimed the gold medal in the men's freestyle 125 kg after his opponent Nigeria's Sinivie Boltic was ruled out of the final due to an injury at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia on Saturday. Sumit defeated Pakistan's Tayab Raza 10-4 in a dramatic bout. It turned out to be a pulsating contest as Sumit was leading early on but Raza came back to reduce the deficit to 2-3 after attacking the Indian's legs.