India's two gold medals today came through Sathish Sivalingam (77kg) and Venkat Rahul Ragala (85kg), both of whom were not 100 per cent fit owing to respective thigh and knee injuries but still managed to keep ahead of the competition.
The 25-year-old Sathish, the defending champion, lifted a total of 317kg (114kg+173kg) and was so ahead of the competition that he forfeited his final clean and jerk lift. "I had no hopes of winning a medal after I injured my thighs during the national championships while attempting 194kg in clean and jerk. It's a quadriceps problem, even now I am competing at less than ideal fitness but I am glad that was enough to get me a gold," Sathish said.
The 21-year-old Rahul, who is a Commonwealth Championships gold-medallist, lifted a total of 338kg (151kg+187kg) to finish on top. "I had been weakened by a knee injury during the Commonwealth Championships last year. But the coaches supported me immensely to get this medal. I haven't been able to train that well," he said.
The Indians bossed the badminton court as well and remained unbeaten en route confirming a semifinal berth. The team at the receiving end of the top seeds' ferocity today was Mauritius, blanked 3-0 by Saina Nehwal and Co. in yet another clinical takedown.
The men's hockey team was a disappointment in its clash against arch-rival Pakistan. After leading 2-1 for 59 minutes, the Indians let in a penalty corner in the final seven seconds to end up with shared honours against a decidedly weaker opponent.
The boxers' rampaging run also continued unabated as the veteran duo of L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Manoj Kumar (59kg) advanced to the quarterfinals along with Commonwealth Games debutant Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).
However, as was expected, the Indians competing in swimming, gymnastics and cycling could not throw up any medal surprises and remained in the lower ranks of their respective competitions. National champion swimmer Sajan Prakash made the finals of 200m butterfly but ended 8th.