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Somdev Creates History With Gold, Poonia Content With Bronze

Guangzhou, Nov 23: Somdev Devvarman created history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in the men's singles tennis event of the Asian Games while ace discus thrower krishna Poonia bagged a

PTI [ Updated: November 23, 2010 20:49 IST ]
somdev creates history with gold poonia content with bronze
somdev creates history with gold poonia content with bronze

Guangzhou, Nov 23: Somdev Devvarman created history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in the men's singles tennis event of the Asian Games while ace discus thrower krishna Poonia bagged a bronze as India managed just two medals in the 11th day of competitions here today.


Second seed Somdev, who had won a gold in the men's doubles event alongwith Sanam Singh yesterday, upset top seed and world number 44 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1 6-2 in the lop-sided summit clash here to achieve the historic feat.

Poonia, who had bagged the gold in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, put up a below par show in women's discus with an effort of 61.94 m but it still turned out to be good enough to fetch her a bronze on an otherwise disappointing day for the Indians.

With the addition of just two medals, India's medal haul climbed to 7 gold, 12 silver and 19 bronze.

The spotlight was on young Somdev as he entered history books with his superb win in the final over the top seed Uzbek who seemed totally off-colour.

Just last month, Somdev had won men's singles gold at the Commonwealth Games and has been the face of India on the ATP Tour in singles for quite some time.

The gritty Indian fell on his back on the court with tears in his eyes when a forehand error by Istomin signalled Somdev's victory.

"I am very, very happy to get the gold here. It's a dream come true. No one comes to an Asian Games with the intention of winning two gold medals. Representing the country gives me the greatest pleasure," said Somdev.

India had three bronze medals in men's singles to show so far at the Games with Leander Paes (Hiroshima in 1994), Mahesh Bhupathi (Bangkok in 1998) and Prahlad Srinath (Bangkok in 1998) winning them in the last decade.

In total, Somdev won three medals at this edition of the Games as he had earlier won a bronze in team event as well. India rounded off its tennis campaign with five medals, two more than what the country had got at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.

In archery, Deepika Kumari missed out on a medal as she lost to Kwon Un Sil of North Korea in the bronze-medal play-off of the women's individual archery event.

The Indian continued her winning run and defeated Chinese Taipei's Tan Ya Ting 6-4 before losing to Yun Okhee of South Korea in the shoot-off. In the bronze-medal play-off, Deepika lost to Kwon Un Sil 2-6.

Another Indian in the fray, Rimil Buriuly bowed out of the competition in the second round.

Rimil started on a winning note as she blanked Zahra Dehghanabnavi 4-0 in her opening round but was outplayed by her Taipei rival 2-6 in the next.

Dharmender Dalal cut a sorry figure as he lost his bronze medal play-off match in the men's 120kg Greco-Roman wrestling competitions to round off another disappointing day for Indian grapplers.

Having won his repechage round 1 bout against Chivinn Chum of Cambodia, Dharmender set up a fight against Iraq's Salman Ali in the bronze medal bout but he could hardly pose a challenge to his opponent, going down 0-3 in the encounter.

Another Indian grappler Vinod Kumar bowed out of the competition much earlier after he was outplayed 0-3 in the opening round by Tsogtbaatar Damdinbazar of Mangolia.

In squash, Indian eves qualified for the semifinals of the team event despite a 0-3 drubbing at the hands of Hong Kong while the men's team made the last-four grade with a crushing 3-0 win over South Korea here today.

The women team advanced to semifinals courtesy their second place finish behind Hong Kong in Pool B. They face Pool A topper Malaysia in the semifinals tomorrow.

The men's team came up with a fine show to be on top of the table in pool B. They are scheduled to play Malaysia in their last league encounter later in the day and the outcome of the that match will decide their next opponent team.

India and Malaysia, sitting second, are tied on 12 points but are on top because of better game win-lose difference.

Indian shooters will have a tough task at hand to finish on the podium after all three of them ended day one of the skeet qualification round at the middle of the points table.

Mairaj Ahmad Khan was placed 15th, followed closely by compatriots Allan Daniel Peoples on 16th and Smit Singh on 18th -- all three of them with same 46 points -- with one more day to go tomorrow. Three more rounds will be played tomorrow.

The India trio were at fifth with 138 (46+46+46) points in the skeet team event.

In the women's individual skeet event, Arti Rao Singh crashed out after finishing eighth in the qualification round with a score of 65. Only the top six advance to the final round. PTI
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