Parupalli Kashyap bags gold, India finish fifth with 64 medals
Posted on Aug 04 2014 | IANS
Glasgow, Aug 3 : Parupalli Kashyap broke a 32-year jinx to claim the men's singles badminton gold, while the women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa as also the men's hockey team clinched silvers to cap an creditable Indian showing at the 20th Commonwealth Games which closed Sunday.
However, off the pitch, the arrest of two senior sports officials on separate charges of drunken driving and sexual assault came as a major embarrassment for the nation, which was earlier in the competition left red faced when a para powerlifter had to be pulled out of the Games and sent back home for failing an out-of-competition drug test conducted in June.
The incidents took some of the sheen off the impressive 64 medal haul - 15 gold, 30 silver and 19 bronze - that ensured a fifth place finish in the leaderboard for India after England, Australia, Canada and hosts Scotland.
It was India's third best showing in the Commonwealth Games after the 100 plus bounty at home in Delhi four years back and the 69 medals they picked up at Manchester in 2002.
But the day's hero for India was second seed Kashyap, who emulated former champions Prakash Padukone (1978) and Syed Modi (1982) to win the men's singles title.
The 27-year-old clinched his first major championship by defeating Singaporean sixth seed Zi Liang Derek Wong 21-14, 11-21, 21-19 in just over an hour at the Emirates Arena.
Kashyap raced away with the first game, but Wong fought back into the match by taking the second.
The rivals went neck-and-neck in the decider but that did not stop both from playing aggressively. It remained extremely close until Kashyap took the lead for the first time in the game (15-14) since leading 4-3 at the start.
Buoyed by a large Indian support base who were cheering for Kashyap with shouts of "India jeetega", the former World No.6 gained momentum and extended the lead to 19-16.
The Hyderabadi displayed some nervy moments when he lost three consecutive points to make it 19-all but then stuck it out to win the next two points and clinch the gold.
Much was expected from Jwala and Ashwini but they could not replicate their gold medal-winning performance of 2010 and had to be content with the silver, losing the final 17-21, 21-23 in 41 minutes to Malaysian second seeds Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon.
Reminiscent of the 2010 Games, India again lost to Australia in men's hockey final -- but this time the margin was halved to 0-4 -- and settled for the silver medal.
India were impressive in their 2-4 loss to Australia in the group games. But when it mattered the most, the goals dried up for India.
Drag-flicker Chris Ciriello struck a hat-trick for Australia while Eddie Ockenden completed the scoreline.
The cycle road race brought disappointment as all the six male cyclists on show Sunday failed to finish. The six cyclists were Suresh Bishnoi, Amit Kumar, Arvind Panwar, Shreedhar Savanur, Manjeet Singh and Sombir.
But the country was left red-faced after Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta and senior international wrestling referee Virender Malik were arrested in Glasgow on separate charges late Saturday night.
Mehta was arrested on charges of alleged drunken driving and Malik for alleged sexual assault.
Sources in Delhi told IANS that both Mehta and Malik were not part of the Indian contingent but went to Glasgow in their respective official capacities. Mehta was an invitee of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and presented medals to winners. Malik had officiated in the wrestling competitions in the Commonwealth Games.
The two will be presented in court Monday.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman confirmed the arrests of the two Indian officials but refused to divulge any details.
"On Aug 2, a 49-year-old man was arrested following reports of alleged drunken driving in City Centre of Glasgow. On August 2, a 45-year-old man was arrested following reports of an alleged assault in the west of Glasgow," said the spokeswoman.
Asian Lite, a London newspaper, reported that Mehta was allegedly driving without a licence at Glasgow city centre and was above the legal alcohol limit and Malik was allegedly involved in sexual assault in a hotel in the west Glasgow.