India sign off with record-breaking 308 medals at South Asian Games.

SouthAsianGames2016SHILLONG: India’s regional supremacy went unchallenged as the hosts were crowned overall champions for the 12th consecutive time after notching up a record-breaking haul of 308 medals, dominating the final day of competitions as well in the South Asian Games.

India had a haul of 308 medals, inclusive of 188 gold and 90 silver, which put to shade its previous best of 214 medals at the 2006 Games in Colombo. Sri Lanka, which finished second, only had a total of 186 medals (25 silver, 63 silver and 98 bronze). Pakistan held on to the third spot with a final count of 106 medals (12 gold, 37 silver and 57 bronze).

London Olympics bronze-medalist M C Mary Kom (51kg), former world champion L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Asian Games bronze winner Pooja Rani (75kg) picked up the top honours in their respective categories.

The javelin throwers Neeraj Chopra and Suman Devi, both touching personal bests, long distance runner L. Surya winning a double, young P.U. Chithra won her first international senior gold medal in the 1500m and Srabani Nanda ending with an impressive showing in the 200m, was pleasing.

In the pool, India encountered a stiff challenge from Sri Lanka swimmers led by Matthew Abeysinghe and Kimiko Raheem. But Sandeep Sejwal, P.S. Madhu, V. Malavika and Damini K. Gowda showcased their talent and saved the country from embarrassment. The archers and boxers made a clean sweep of the titles. Teams in tennis, table tennis, triathlon, badminton, handball, volleyball, kabaddi and kho-kho also had a gain.

The wrestlers were not left far behind, dropping just two of the 16 gold medals, with young Ravinder proving his valour. And then, there was a bagful of gold medals from the shooters. Chain Singh had three successive wins over a seasoned Gagan Narang, and Yashaswini Singh Deswal emerged as the new face of Indian shooting Slightly removed from these pleasing takeaways were the losses suffered in men’s hockey, football and men’s squash.

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