India ended its South Asian Games campaign with the best-ever medal haul of 312, continuing its undisputed domination in the regional multi-sporting event by finishing on top for the 13th time in a row here on Tuesday.
The 2016 edition, however, had 263 medal events and a total of 789 medals on offer while this edition had 338 medal events and 1014 total medals. Host Nepal stood a distant second with 206 medals (51 gold, 60 silver and 95 bronze) while Sri Lanka was third with 251 (40 gold, 83 silver and 128 bronze).
India has topped the medal tally of every SAG since its inception in 1984. On the concluding day, India added 18 medals (15 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze) with the boxers fetching six gold and 1 silver. Indian cagers fetched both the men’s and women’s basketball gold by defeating Sri Lanka (101-62) and Nepal (127-46) in their respective summit clashes. In squash, India won gold and silver in the women’s and men’s team events respectively. The day belonged to the Indian boxers, who brought home a rich haul of medals. Vikas Krishan (men’s 69kg) and Pinki Rani (women’s 51kg) clinched a gold medal each.
Among men, Sparsh Kumar (52kg) and Narender (+91kg) were the other boxers who bagged the yellow metal while Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) contributed to India’s gold medal tally among women. Vikas completed his comeback in style with a resounding 5-0 win over Pakistan’s Gul Zaib in men’s 69kg. In the men’s superheavyweight (+91kg) category, Narender was equally impressive as he cruised to a 5-0 victory over Nepal’s Ashish Duwadi. Sparsh (men’s 52kg), who won 4-1, was made to work hard by Pakistan’s Syed Muhammad Asif.
Sonia (57kg) hardly broke a sweat and easily dominated her final bout against Sri Lanka’s Krismi Ayoma Dulanj Lankapurayalage, emerging victorious 5-0 to finish on top of the podium. Pinki (51kg) and Manju (64kg) both displayed tremendous fighting spirit and resilience to bag gold.
While Pinki beat Nepal’s Rai Mala 3-2, Manju defeated another Nepalese opponent Punam Rawal by the same verdict.