Indians cover themselves in glory at CYG

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Pune, Oct 18 (UNI) India, who were using the Commonwealth Youth Games held at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports city, Balewadi here, as a dress rehearsal for the 2010 main Commomwealth Games, will be very happy with the performances put up by their athletes as the hosts wrapped up the show on a glorious note by topping the medals tally.

India showed why they are being called the next big thing in boxing by bagging three golds, one silver and three bronze medals raising the hopes of the whole country for the next Asian Games as well as the Olympics.

Other than the boxers, Indian wrestlers made these games their own as they made a clean sweep of seven gold medals in all the categories, while in badminton, apart from ace shuttler Saina Nehwal who as expectedly took the gold, also bagged two gold and silver medals each and a bronze to end up with 76 medals (33 gold, 26 silver and 17 bronze medals).

With a spirited performance in the swimming event, the Australians ended at the second spot with 64 medals (24 gold, 19 silver and 21 bronze), while England were at the third spot with 41 medals (18 gold, nine silver and 14 bronze).

South Africa (seven gold, 13 silver and nine bronze) and Canada (six gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze) jointly occupy the fourth spot, while Wales with five gold, five silver and six bronze are at the fifth position.

Indian shuttlers with this performance would now look forward to a bright campaign at the World Juniors championship starting here from October 24.

The all-Indian badminton girls and boys singles summit clash went as per script with Saina Nehwal and Guru Sai Dutt living up to the billing for top honours.

Fifteen-year-old Sikki Reddy gave Saina the jitters before the Beijing Olympic Games quarter-finalist wrapped up the tie 23-21, 22-20 to clinch the gold on the fifth and penultimate day.

''Sikki has been playing very well recently... She is giving a tough fight to all the players. She can do well from here,'' said Saina after the match.

Sikki, however, finished with a gold (in doubles) when she paired up with Thulasi to blank Mary Bruce and Man Shan Michelle Li of Canada 21-18, 21-8 in just 21 minutes.

The Indian boxers shined in the ring with three gold and one silver. It was Nanao Singh Thokchom of Army Sports Institute who opened the account, knocking out Zack Davies of Wales 25-10 in the lightflyweight (48kg) category.

However, it was Shanthosh Virothu of Andhra Pradesh who made the country proud as the Vishakhapatnam boxer battled high fever to outpunch Jonker Alexander of South Africa 16-4. Sixteen-year-old Shanthosh is also an ASI cadet, having won the 40th Junior Men's National Boxing Championship at Warangal in October last year.

In the next bout, Balwinder Singh, first cousin of Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Kumar, defeated Benjamin Shamoon of Canada in the tie-breaker to win the gold in the welterweight (69kg) category.

Another ASI boxer, Satender had to settle for the silver when he lost to Stuart Twardzik of Canada in the middleweight (75kg) category.

Meanwhile in swimming, Virdhawal Khade set a new Commonwealth Youth Games record in the 50m freestyle en route to the gold medal.

He won a total of three golds and three silvers with Aaron D'Souza in 200m butterfly bagging a bronze, which saw an otherwise disappointing performances from the other swimmers.

The hosts bagged two silver in tennis with its biggest hope Yuki Bhambri having to be satisfied with a bronze after conceding his ankle and conceded the boys singles semi-final match.

Shooting was another sport which was been looked upon for a good performace by the shooters and they did not disappoint with the first gold of the games going to Ankush Bhardwaj also winning a further six golds, one silver and four bronze.

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