India dominated the range and the ring as Shreyasi Singh's double trap gold shored up the medal tally while the entire men's Indian boxing contingent made the semifinals to be assured of podium finishes in an unprecedented performance on day 7 of the 21st Commonwealth Games on Wednesday at Gold Coast, Australia.
The Belmont Shooting Centre in Brisbane continued to be a happy hunting ground for Indian shooters and for a fourth successive day the country had a medal to celebrate. Shreyasi, a silver-medallist from the 2014 edition, beat Australia's Emma Cox in a shoot-off to improve the colour of her medal from the last time. "This is the highest medal of my career, right up there. It is also very special because shooting is not going to be a part of the Commonwealth Games in 2022," said the 26-year-old.
From the range to the Oxenford Studios and it only got better for India. All eight of the male Indian boxers entered the semifinals, while the redoubtable M C Mary Kom (48kg) entered the final. "It was difficult in the sense that this girl would just not come to me. I had to be careful because she was perhaps waiting for me to let my guard down," Mary Kom said of her defensive opponent, Anusha Dilrukshi Koddithuwakku of Sri Lanka.
Gaurav Solanki (52kg), Vikas Krishan (75kg) and Manish Kaushik (60kg) joined Manoj Kumar (69kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg), Amit Panghal (49kg), Naman Tanwar (91kg) and Mohammed Husammuddin (56kg) in the semis, making for a very happy Indian boxing contingent, shepherded by Swedish coach Santiago Nieva.
There was good news from the hockey arena as well with India beating England in their final pool B clash to set up a semifinal with New Zealand. The spark that had been missing so far from their campaign was rediscovered to an extent and coach Sjoerd Marijne said he could finally recognize his team again.
On the badminton court, the stars of the mixed team's gold medal-winning campaign began their singles run and with easy opponents in opening rounds and the likes of P V Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth hardly took less than 20 minutes each to move into the pre-quarters.
There was disappointment in the athletics arena where high jump hope Tejaswin Shankar ended up sixth after fouling all his attempts at 2.27m even though his personal best stands at 2.28m.
Most of the table tennis and squash players made their way into pre-quarters of their respective individual and doubles events. In squash, the spotlight is on defending gold medallists Joshna Chinnappa and Dipika Pallikal, who won their opening match on Wednesday.
Also finishing sixth was Hima Das, but in the 400m women's race. She could, however, take solace from the fact that she achieved a personal best of 51.32sec.
Nayana James and Neena Varakil made it to the finals of the women's long jump event after finishing ninth and 12th respectively overall in the qualification round in the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday. Nayana cleared 6.34m in her second attempt to finish fourth in Group B while Neena had a best effort of 6.24 to end at sixth in Group A.