when her Chinese opponent withdrew from the bronze medal play-off after injuring her knee while pocket dynamo Laishram Devendro Singh advanced to the boxing quarterfinals here today.
Krishna Poonia entered the finals of the women’s discus throw but the country faced reverses in other track and field events, mixed doubles tennis, rowing and women’s shooting while boxing hope Vikas Krishan had the mortification of his victory in the 69kg quarterfinals being overturned following a review by the world governing body for the game.
The lead story was Saina’s who bagged the bronze medal under fortuitous circumstances when her opponent — world no. 2 Xin Wang — was leading by a game and 1-0 when she withdrew from the bronze medal contest. She twisted her knee late in the opening game when attempting an acrobatic smash from the rear court. The Chinese shuttler was unable to continue the contest and the bronze went to Saina who became only the second Indian woman after weightlifter Karnam Malleswari (bronze in 2000 Sydney) to clinch an Olympic medal. It was also the country’s 10th individual medal since its first – a bronze – in 1952 by wrestler Kashaba Jadhav and its third in the ongoing Olympics after rifle shooter Gagan Narang’s bronze on July 30 and pistol marksman Vijay Kumar’s silver yesterday. “This medal will change a lot of things. We will see a change in the badminton scene and more girls will take up the sport. P V Sindhu is doing well and similarly many more girls will come through like in China and Korea,” said Saina at the post-match press conference. “My aim was to win an Olympic medal and I have worked hard for it for the last five, six years. The whole thing is yet to sink in, I can’t believe that I have actually won an Olympic medal,” she said. “Initially I thought she (Wang) wasting time as she was getting tired. But later I realised that it was a serious injury,” she said. [PTI]