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Lusofonia Games: Paddlers give India first gold medals

Panaji: India's first gold medals in the third Lusofonia Games came via table tennis when the country's men and women paddlers kept their top billing intact in the five-team pool events.Portugal, despite putting up a
IANS January 21, 2014 9:47 IST
IANS
Panaji: India's first gold medals in the third Lusofonia Games came via table tennis when the country's men and women paddlers kept their top billing intact in the five-team pool events.

Portugal, despite putting up a good fight against India, had to be content with the silver. Neighbours Sri Lanka took bronze in the men's section.

Indian men defeated Portugal 3-1 in an intensive battle while the women just ran through their European opponents 3-0 in what was a one-sided affair to claim the team gold medals in both the sections. Sri Lanka claimed the silver while the bronze medal went to Macau in the women's fare.

In fact, it was the women paddlers who gave India their maiden gold, incidentally the first ever in table tennis at the Games so far.

They were followed by the Indian men who, to start with, were in a bit of a tangle after Soumyajit Ghosh lost his singles to southpaw Diogo Silva. But what gave India the advantage was the game between Anthony Amal Raj, who defeated another left-handed Jorge Costa after being 0-2 down.

As for the women, it was totally a one-sided issue with K. Shamini accounting for Joana Mota 3-1, Anikita Das then beating Raquel Andrade 3-0 and Madhurika Patkar completing the formality with a 3-0 win over Joana Fins.

The Lusofonia Games are a Portuguese equivalent of the British Commonwealth Games. The team from Goa, a former Portuguese colony, also comprises of athletes from the rest of India.

The 12-day sporting event will features Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Goa (India), Macau (China), Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and Sri Lanka, whose athletes will compete in nine sporting disciplines like athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, football, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball and wushu.