South Asian Games: India finish on top with 308 medals

India’s regional supremacy went unchallenged as the hosts were crowned overall champions for the 12th consecutive time, after notching up a record-breaking haul of 308 medals, at the South Asian Games.

India’s final tally stood at 188 gold, 99 silver and 30 bronze medals. Photos: K. Murali Kumar, Ritu Raj Konwar, M. Moorthy

With women boxers scooping all the three gold medals on offer and the judokas also bagging two gold and two silver on the last day of the Games, India’s final tally stood at 188 gold, 99 silver and 30 bronze medals.

It was a massive jump in medal count for the Indians, who had won 175, including 90 gold, in the previous edition of the Games in 2010.

At the distant second spot was Sri Lanka with a haul of 186 medals (25 silver, 63 silver and 98 bronze). Pakistan held on to the third spot with a final count of 106 medals (12 gold, 37 silver and 57 bronze).

On the final day of competitions, first off the blocks were the pugilists, who ensured that India scored a ‘Perfect 10’ in boxing. After the men had scooped all the seven gold medals on offer, the women made a clean sweep on Tuesday.

London Olympics bronze-medallist M.C. Mary Kom (51kg), former world champion L. Sarita Devi (60kg) and Asian Games bronze winner Pooja Rani (75kg) picked up the top honours in their respective categories.

The judokas too showed good form, bagging two gold and two silver medals to finish on top at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor sports hall.

Four events were held on the last day of the judo competition and the Indians put up a dominating show once again to finish on a high.

Avatar Singh took just 49 seconds from the stipulated five minutes to prevail over his Afghan opponent Mohammad Ismail Kakar en route to the gold medal in the men’s under 90kg.

Pooja, on the other hand, overcame a strong challenge from Beenish Khan of Pakistan in an evenly-contested duel before the Indian sealed off the issue in 3:03 minutes from the stipulated four in women’s U-70kg.

Women’s U-78kg was tricky as there were only four contestants and Aruna (200 points) was edged out by gold medallist Fouzia Mumtaz (210) of Pakistan in the round-robin league.

It was the fifth battle of the day between the two rivals, and Mumtaz clinched the issue in just four minutes.

Pitted against Shah Hussain Shah in the men’s U-100kg final, Shubham Kumar simply lost against the celebrated Pakistani, who won in just one minute and 29 seconds to clinch the gold.

Indian judokas emerged overall winners, with nine gold, three silver from 12 disciplines, to push Pakistan (2-2-8) and Nepal (1-2-6) to second and third places, respectively.

Keywords: 12th South Asian Games, India’s medal tally at South Asian Games, Mary Kom, Sarita Devi

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