South Asian Games: Suresh Kumar kicks off gold rush for India

Track and field athletes dominated the show as India’s women’s handball side beat Nepal to clinch gold.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

A day after they began their track and field campaign with a clutch of medals at the 2019 South Asian Games, Indian athletes continued their fine form by adding a few more medals to their tally at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

Suresh Kumar was the first to climb atop the podium as he dished out a fine run to win the 10,000 metres in 29 minutes, 33.61 seconds.

The 24-year-old was barely troubled through the race with Sri Lanka’s Shan Mugeswaran finishing a distant second in 30:49.30 while local hope Deepak Adhakari taking the bronze in 30.50.06.

In the women’s 200m, Archana Suseendran had to wade off a stiff challenge from Pakistan’s Najma Praveen to clinch the gold in 23.66 seconds. Najma won the silver in 23.69 seconds while Chandralekha Anandan completed the podium in 24.27 seconds.

South Asian Games double in discus

The Indians also enjoyed a splendid outing in the field events, winning as many as seven medals on the fourth day of South Asian Games.

While Kirpal Singh Batth and Gagandeep Singh did a double for India in the men’s discus throw, Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and Suravi Biswas also dominated the women’s discus throw with their powering performances.

In the men's long jump, Lokesh Sathyanathan and Swamynathan finished first and second respectively.

India's Lokesh Sathyanathan (centre) and Swamynathan won the gold and the silver medals in the long jump event at the 2019 South Asian Games. Image courtesy: 13sagnepal.com

Batth took the discus gold with a new Games record distance of 57.8 metres while Singh had to be content with a silver medal for his effort of 53.57 metres. In the long jump final, Sathyanathan covered a distance of 7.87 metres for his gold while his compatriot Swamynathan won the silver for his effort of 7.77 metres.

In the women’s half, Dhillon took the discus gold with a throw of 49.87 metres while Biswas finished second with an attempt of 47.38 metres.

Sandra Babu, meanwhile, finished with a bronze in her long jump final with an attempt of 6.02 metres.

Shuttlers progress at South Asian Games

Meanwhile, there was more reason to cheer for the Indian camp as their badminton shuttlers moved into the further rounds of their respective events with comfortable wins at the Badminton Cover Hall in Pokhara.

Competing in the Last 16 of the individual male team, Aryaman Tandon was in good touch as he breezed past Ranthushka Karunathilake of Sri Lanka 21-17, 21-17 while Siril Verma beat Pakistan’s Murad Ali 21-12, 21-17.

Triumph in handball, kabaddi, tennis

The fourth day of the Games also saw the Indian handball, tennis and kabaddi teams begin their respective campaign on a winning note while the kho-kho sides clinched the gold medals with a dominant win over hosts Nepal.

The Indians women were all over the Nepal side as they romped home to a 17-5 win to clinch the gold while the men beat Bangladesh 16-9 for the top prize.

In handball, the women’s team recorded a dominant 41-9 win over hosts Nepal. The Indians were on the money from the opening whistle as they barely let the Nepal side settle in, poking and probing their opponents with incessant waves of attack before closing out the game. 

The kabaddi game between Indian and Sri Lanka in the women’s section too was a one-sided affair, with the Indians recording a comfortable 53-14 win.

Later, the day also saw the Indian tennis teams make it to the final of the team events at the 13th South Asian Games. 

In the men’s category, the Indians outplayed hosts Nepal 3-0 to book their place in the final and will take on Pakistan for the gold medal while in the women’s category, another 3-0 win over Nepal saw the Indian side progress to the summit tie where they will take on Sri Lanka for the top prize.