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India wins first athletics gold in 52 yrs, but Vijender crashes out

India wins first athletics gold in 52 yrs, but Vijender crashes out
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First Published: Mon, Oct 11 2010. 11 52 PM IST

Painful blow: India’s Vijender Singh (red) during his bout with English pugilist Anthony Ogogo. PTI
Painful blow: India’s Vijender Singh (red) during his bout with English pugilist Anthony Ogogo. PTI
Updated: Mon, Oct 11 2010. 11 52 PM IST
New Delhi: India retained its second position at the Commonwealth Games on Monday, making a clean sweep in women’s discus, but ace boxer Vijender Singh crashed out in the 75kg category after a couple of controversial warnings in his semifinal bout.
The 19th edition of the multidiscipline extravaganza, being hosted at New Delhi, also saw its first failed drug test, with Osayomi Oludamola of Nigeria, who won the gold medal in women’s 100m, testing positive for a banned stimulant.
Painful blow: India’s Vijender Singh (red) during his bout with English pugilist Anthony Ogogo. PTI
India ended the day with 30 gold, 23 silver and 27 bronze medals. Australia continued to lead the medals tally with 63-43-39, while England were just behind India at 26-48-35.
Krishna Poonia won India’s first Commonwealth Games athletics gold medal in 52 years, throwing a discus 61.51m to share a historic day with second-placed teammate Harwant Kaur and third-placed Seema Antil. She collected India’s second athletics gold ever, the first being won by Milkha Singh in the 440 yards in Cardiff in 1958.
“It’s amazing. I dedicate this medal to all the Indians. With this I think we wiped out everything bad that was happening before the Games and came out united,” she said, referring to construction delays and security and health concerns that had emerged in the run-up to the Games.
But Olympic Games bronze-medallist Vijender Singh crashed out due to a couple of controversial warnings in his semifinals, prompting an angry Indian team to lodge a protest, even as Suranjoy Singh (52kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) made their way to the finals with contrasting wins.
Although India is set for its best-ever medal haul of seven in this discipline, the colour of the metal yet to be decided.
The controversial refereeing led to Vijender Singh’s 3-4 loss to England’s 22-year-old former cadet champion Anthony Ogogo. The Indian team has filed a protest against the refereeing.
“We have filed a protest. A jury will now sit after the last bout of the day and they will review the bout. Altering the result is also a possibility,” Indian Boxing Federation secretary general P.K. Muralidharan Raja told PTI.
All of Ogogo’s 4 points came through warnings handed to Vijender in the third round by Canadian referee Michael Summers. The world number one Indian was leading 3-2 with barely 20 seconds left on the clock when he was handed a warning for holding his rival after an engrossing fight.
The decision seemed harsh after Vijender was penalized earlier in the bout as well for hitting his rival on the back of his head.
If the result stands then Vijender Singh, who won a silver in the last Commonwealth Games, would have to settle for a bronze this time.
More controversy was in store as Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell announced Oludamola of Nigeria had tested positive for the banned stimulant methylexanemine and could be stripped of her gold medal.
More than 900 doping tests have been conducted since the Games opened on 3 October, Fennell said, and so far Oludamola had returned the only positive. Fennell said Oludamola has been notified of the adverse finding and had requested the testing of the B sample.
A court hearing involving Fennell, lawyers and World Anti-Doping Agency observers later ruled that the provisional suspension would continue until the B sample results are received, which would be Wednesday at the earliest in New Delhi, the CGF said in a statement.
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First Published: Mon, Oct 11 2010. 11 52 PM IST