Commonwealth Games 2018: Here's to the golden girls!
Batra helps India clinch TT gold; shooter Bhaker and weightlifter Punam get yellow metal too
Manika Batra (left) and her teammates in a joyous mood after beating Singapore to clinch a historic gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Pics/PTI
From weightlifting to boxing to table tennis to hockey, women formed the core of India's stupendous Day Four at the 21st Commonwealth Games where Manu Bhaker, 16, delivered a record-shattering shooting gold medal and the table tennis team shocked fancied defending champions Singapore to clinch the top honours for the first time in the event.
The women's table tennis team of Manika Batra, Madhurika Patkar and Mouma Das did what was not at all expected of them, beat defending champions Singapore 3-1 for a historic maiden gold.
"It was my first time playing against Feng, the moment I knew I won against the World No. 4, I felt on top of the world. Even in my wildest dreams I had not thought that I will beat an Olympic medallist and World No. 4," said Batra after her shock win over Feng Tianwei.
Heena Sidhu (extreme left) and Manu Bhaker
Mary on verge of medal
Another high point of the day was MC Mary Kom, 35, advancing to the medal rounds in what is her first and probably last appearance at the Games. India held on to their fourth position in the medals tally, having claimed seven gold, two silver and three bronze medals so far. High for Manu, Heena From the shooting ranges in Brisbane to the weightlifting arena here, it was all about women today.
And starting it all was Manu Bhaker, the teen sensation from Haryana, who shot down the Games record and the gold medal in the 10m air pistol event. A distant silver medallist in the event also happened to be a woman — Heena Sidhu.
"Shooting is an uncomplicated sport, take aim and shoot. That's why it's important not to think too much. "If you think too much, then it becomes complex," explained Bhaker as she analysed her brilliant performance.
Punam Yadav with the gold medal after her 69kg win
In the weightlifting arena, Punam Yadav (69kg) pulled off a personal best of 222kg (110kg+122kg) to improve the bronze she had won in the 2014 edition to add another gold to India's haul.
The women's hockey team showed tremendous grit to stun Olympic champions England in its third pool match in what can only be described as a morale-soaring 2-1 victory, which took them closer to a semi-final berth.
Saina on course
On the badminton court, Saina Nehwal remained in brutally good form and guided India to a 3-1 triumph over Singapore in the mixed team event. The top seeds will be up against Malaysia in the summit clash today.
Adding a dash of bronze to the weightlifting collection was Thakur (94kg), who lifted a total of 351kg (159kg+192kg) on a day when Papua New Guinea's Steven Kari broke the Commonwealth as well as the Games record in clean and jerk for a total lift of 370kg (154kg+216kg).
Khushbir walks on
The high-profile athletics competition also got underway at the Carrara sports complex and India had a fairly decent day with race walker Khushbir Kaur finishing fourth in the women's 20km event.
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