Rio Olympics: Sania, Bopanna seal semis, Vikas enters quarterfinals
Rio de Janeiro: While Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna on Friday subdued Britain’s Andy Murray and Heather Watson with remarkable ease to breeze into the mixed doubles semifinals of tennis, India boxer Vikas Krishnan stood a win away from an elusive Olympic medal as he outclassed Turkey’s Sipal Onder 3-0 to comfortably advance to the quarterfinals of men’s 75kg middleweight boxing of the Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth seeded Indian pair dominated the quarterfinal contest, winning 6-4 6-4 in just 67 minutes. One more victory will ensure India a silver medal and a defeat in the semifinals would give Sania and Bopanna a chance to fight for the bronze.
Sania and Bopanna were a better team than the Britons, who never posed a threat to the Indians. Bopanna was solid with his booming serve while Sania played superbly from the back of the court.
Boxer Krishnan, 24-year-old, started off with some counter punches in a fast-paced round one in Pavilion 6 at Riocentro, and he carried on the momentum throughout to emerge triumphant.
With 38 seconds to go the Turkish had to take a break to treat his bleeding eye, which reflected Vikas’s complete domination of the first round.
The second round was no different as Sipal, a 29-year-old veteran who had a close win over Benny Muziyo of Zambia in his opener, took a defensive stance and tried to keep a distance to avoid Vikas’ jabs.
The former Asian Games gold medallist, on the other hand, continued his steady progress and at the same time was cautious enough to thwart Sipal’s counter punches.
Track and Field
It was a disappointing start for India in athletics events as all the four competitors, including discus thrower Vikas Gowda, failed to put up a creditable performance today.
Gowda and women’s shot putter Manpreet Kaur fell by the wayside at the qualification stage itself while Jinson Johnson could not qualify for the semifinals in the morning session.
Later in the day, Manish Singh Rawat finished 13th while his two other compatriots Gurmeet Singh and Krishnan Ganapathi were disqualified early in the men’s 20km race walk road event.
The 33-year-old Gowda, in his fourth straight Olympics, produced an utterly below-par performance with a best throw of 58.99m to finish 28th overall out of 34 competitors. He finished 16th in a field of 18 in Group B qualification round.
In women’s shot put, national record holder Manpreet finished a disappointing 23rd overall out of 35 competitors with a best throw if 17.06m. She finished 13th in Group B qualifying round.