Indian athletes continued to sparkle at the 13th South Asian Games clinching as many as 38 medals on the seventh day. India now tops the points table after winning a whopping 252 medals, including 132 gold, 79 silver, and 41 bronze.
The seventh day started brightly for India, with the swimmers and wrestlers together extending the country’s gold spree to eleven. Besides, it saw the Indian handball women’s squad clinch two medals with one gold and silver each. The fencing team masterminded another three gold medals.
It was a golden shower for the Indian swimmers with Kushagra Rawat clinching the top honours in the men’s 400m freestyle event with a total timing of 3:49.76 and Anand Shylaja walking away with the silver after clocking a timing of 4:01.02. Another gold came from Supriya Mondal in the men’s 200m butterfly event, clocking 2:02.45. Youngsters Srihari Nataraj and Mana Patel won the 50m backstroke men’s and women’s events respectively to win two more gold medals for the day. The 4x200m freestyle relay men’s and women’s teams also clinched the gold. Apeksha Fernandes clocked a timing of 2:21.83 to clinch the seventh swimming gold for India in the women’s 200m butterfly. The only bronze came through Mihir Ambre who clocked a timing of 2:09.14.
India reinforced its dominance in the world of wrestling to clinch all four gold medals with the Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik spearheading the side. There seemed to be no stopping Sakshi as he steered her way for a comfortable podium finish in her 62kg category. In all the 12 categories so far, India has won gold medals. While it was mostly a series of lopsided victories for Sakshi, Under-23 World Championships silver medallist Ravinder had to break a sweat to pick up the yellow metal in the men’s freestyle 61kg category. Pawan Kumar and Anshu clinched gold medals each in the men’s freestyle 86kg and women’s freestyle 59kg respectively.
As many as seven Indian boxers advanced to the finals on the seventh day with reigning Commonwealth Games champion Vikas Krishan (69kg) and 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Pinki Rani (51kg) leading in their respective men’s and women’s category. All three women boxers, Pinki Rani, Sonia Lather (57kg), and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) entered the finals, while Sparsh (52kg), Varinder (60kg), and Narender (91kg) were the men boxers to advance to the summit clash. Sachin was the only Indian boxer to suffer a setback in the men’s 81kg. With eight boxers having already booked their places for the final clash on Saturday, India now has a total of 15 boxers gunning for the yellow metal.
Indian handball women’s team bagged one gold and one silver while the men’s team finished runners-up in the final. India picked up all the three gold medals in fencing after ensuring a top podium finish in the team’s events of men’s epee, men’s sabre, and women’s foil.
The performance mirrors India’s dominance at the Games, with hosts Nepal standing second with a total haul of 165 medals, including 45 gold, 44 silver, and 76 bronze and Sri Lanka on the third with 197 medals, including 36 gold, 68 silver, and 93 bronze.