DAY ONE: Saina Nehwal, Mirabai Chanu, women’s hockey team in action. You can check out India’s complete schedule here.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu bagged India’s first gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and also broke the Games record. Another weightlifter, Gururaja, earlier won India’s first medal at Gold Coast – a silver.
The Indian women’s hockey team lost a thriller against Wales 2-3, while the badminton team thrashed Sri Lanka 5-0 in the mixed-team event.
DATA CHECK: India’s performances over the years at CWG, explained in five charts.
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6.32 pm: Its official now. Rakesh Kumar Patra has qualified for the Rings Finals at 5th Position at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
He is the only Men Gymnast from India to Qualify for an Individual Apparatus Final. And it’s his first Apparatus Finals at CWG. Rings finals on April 8.
Also, Yogeshwar Singh has qualified for the All Around Finals. We will see him again in action again on April 7.
6.16 pm: And here is a look the end of the day medal tally. Not a bad day for India at all.
5.42 pm: Arka Bhattacharya on the way ahead for India’s little wonder.
“Chanu walked out to Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ with the spotlight firmly on her, a world champion in 2017. Fully in the moment, Chanu was the ice-cool woman at the centre of it, the firm favourite for the top spot, in a class of her own.”
Read the full piece HERE
5.36 pm: Australia set World Record in 4X100 m freestyle women’s swimming, including the fastest split ever recorded - 51 seconds by Cate Campbell, who swam the final leg.
5.28 pm: The Indian men’s basketball team have lost to Cameroon 87-96. They had a huge lead at the end of the first half but Cameroon worked things out in the second half to get a remarkable victory.
4.43 pm: A defeat in straight games in the round of 32 for Harinder Pal Sandhu in men’s singles, his Malaysian opponent Ivan Yuen was much too good on the day. Sourav Ghosal also lost earlier in the day.
4.43 pm: Emotional scenes at the Weightlifting arena. Malaysia’s Bidin punched way above his weight to upset Baru from PNG. India’s Muthupandi Raja finished a strong 6th with a personal-best 266 kg (116 in the snatch + 150 in the clean and jerk).
4.34 pm: Men’s 50m butterfly Semi-Final 2: India’s Virdhawal Khade finishes eighth with a timing of 24.50sec. South Africa’s Chad LE CLOS came in first place with a time of 23.53 seconds.
4.18 pm: Back to badminton, Saina Nehwal gets another easy win to give India an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie against Pakistan.
4.10 pm: India’s women’s basketball team go down fighting in their first match in the group stage. It was close for three quarters before the Jamaicans saw the final quarter off.
4.06 pm: Ghosal is feeling pretty down after his loss. Time to drum up the support people!
3.49 pm: And it’s a win for Indian boxer Manoj Kumar in his first bout! A unanimous 5-0 decision goes his way. On to the round of 16.
3.45 pm: Over in badminton, K Srikanth was given a tough fight by Pakistan’s Murad Ali before coming through 21-16, 22-20, giving India a 2-0 lead in the mixed-team tie.
3.40 pm: India’s Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran have beaten Northern Ireland’s Zak Wilson and Paul McCreery 11-2, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7 in the table tennis men’s team tie. India have won the tie 3-0.
3.30 pm: Vikram Malhotra has won his second-round match as well in the squash men’s singles, beating 11-4, 11-3, 11-0. Dipika Pallikal also won her match in straight games against Charlotte Knaggs of Trinidad and Tobago.
3.25 pm: Here are the Snatch results in the men’s 62 kg final. Raja will need have an amazing Clean and Jerk to get a medal.
3.11 pm: In the badminton mixed-team event, India have taken a 1-0 lead against Pakistan after the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Sikki Reddy beat Muhammad Bhatti and Palwasha Bashir 21-10, 21-13.
3.08 pm: Over in squash, Sourav Ghoshal has given up a two-game lead against Jamaica’s Chris Binnie before losing 11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 10-12 in the men’s singles Round of 32. In the women’s singles, Joshna Chinappa had it easy against Papua New Guinea’s Lynette Vai, winning 11-3, 11-7, 11-2.
3.04 pm: Raja manages to lift 116 kg successfully in this final Snatch attempt but it’s unlikely he will be in the top three.
2.59 pm: Raja’s second Snatch attempt – 116 kg – is unsuccessful as his left elbow bends during the lift.
2.55 pm: Raja Muthupandi lifts 113 kg in his first Snatch attempt! He will attempt 116 kg next.
2.48 pm: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and A Sharath Kamal have given India a 2-0 lead against Northern Ireland in the men’s team squash competition. Sathiyan beat Ashley Robinson 11-4, 11-6, 11-4, while Sharath defeated Paul McCreery 11-6, 11-8, 11-4.
2.40 pm: India have already won two medals from weightlifting today and Raja Muthupandi could make it No 3, but he’s got some tough competition in the men’s 62 kg category final, which has started at Gold Coast.
2.30 pm: Just when you thought the focus can be solely on the Games, the Indian Olympic Association has scored a self-goal by raking up the Saina Nehwal father issue once again via a tweet. Was this really necessary? Abhijeet Kulkarni has more here.
1.50 pm: Madhurika Patkar seals the tie 3-1 for India after beating Wales’s Chloe Thomas in straight games 11-3, 11-4, 12-10 in the table tennis women’s team competition.
1.27 pm: Wales have pulled one back against India in the table tennis women’s team competition, as Charlotte Carey and the 11-year-old Anna Hursey beat Madhurika Patkar and Mouma Das in five games. The Welsh pair took a two-game lead before the Indians fought back and took the match into a decider, which went right down to the wire. Wales won the third match 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 13-11 but still trail 1-2 in the tie.
1.15 pm: India have finished 7th out of 8 in the track cycling men’s team sprint qualifying and won’t be in contention for a medal.
1.10 pm: Here’s the gold-medal winner, Mirabai Chanu, who is already looking ahead.
12.50 pm: Accolades continue to pour in for Mirabai Chanu:
12.41 pm: Eleven-year-old Anna Hursey – the youngest ever CWG athlete – is in action in the table tennis women’s team doubles match between Wales and India. Here is her story.
12.34 pm: India’s Mouma Das has also won her table tennis singles match against Wales’s Chloe Thomas 12-10, 11-7, 11-7 in the women’s team competition.
12.24 pm: Meanwhile, India is on top of the CWG medal table, for now. Enjoy this while it lasts!
12.20 pm: This is the second India versus Wales match going on today, after hockey. There have also been two India versus Sri Lanka matches, but we are used to that now, aren’t we?
12.17 pm: Manika Batra has given India a 1-0 lead against Wales in the table tennis women’s team competition after beating Charlotte Carey in four games: 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4.
12.03 pm: Here is the report of Mirabai Chanu’s gold-standard exploits at Gold Coast.
11.55 am: Here’s Arka Bhattacharya on Mirabai Chanu putting the demons of Rio to rest:
In Rio, it was the clean and jerk that did Mirabai Chanu in, after she failed to land a clean lift in each of her three attempts. At Gold Coast, her last clean lift of 110 kg was higher than that of any of her competitors in Rio. Chief national coach Vijay Sharma had earlier spoken of her “freezing at major meets”. With the World Championship and now the Commonwealth Games title under her belt now, it looks like the 23-year-old has well and truly put the demons of Rio to rest now.
11.46 am: There it is. There’s India’s first gold of the 2018 Commonwealth Games!
11.40 am: Take a bow, Mirabai Chanu! What a performance!!
11.35 am: She’s done it! Mirabai Chanu has won the GOLD in the women’s 48 kg weightlifting after breaking the Games record in each of her Clean and Jerk attempts – 103 kg, 107 kg and 110 kg. The last one was also her personal best. Her combined total of 196 kg is also a Games record! WOW!
11.20 am: India’s Vikram Malhotra has beaten Zambia’s Manda Chilambwe in straight games 11-6, 11-5, 11-2 in just 23 minutes in the men’s singles squash first round. Two out of two for Indian squash players so far.
11.11 am: India finish last in the track cycling Women’s 4,000m Team Pursuit Qualifying, and are out of contention for any medal.
11.06 am: Abhijeet Kulkarni on why selection of the gymnastics squad needed to be so much better. Rakesh Patra, who was not considered by the IOA selection committee for not attempting all apparatus, currently leads the Rings qualification with a score of 13.950 with just one sub division left.
This is probably why Indian Olympic Association should have left selection of gymnastic squad to the Federation in the first place. Rakesh Patra, who was not considered by the IOA selection committee for not attempting all apparatus, currently leads the Rings qualification with a score of 13.950 with just one sub division left. In the last edition in Glasgow, Patra had failed to qualify for the finals despite scoring 14.266 in rings and will have to wait for the last Sub Division to finish later in the evening to know his final position.
Among the other Indians, Yogeshwar Singh is currently sixth in vault with a score of 13.475 and fifth in Pommel Horse with a score of 12.750. However, 2010 Games double medallist is out of the final race. Just for the record, Yogeshwar was not part of the initial team selected by the IOA committee and was later picked by Gymnastic Federation of India after intervention from the world body.
11.00 am: India could go top of the medal tally if Chanu wins the gold. Here is what the medal’s tally looks like:
10.52 am: Gururaj’s journey to the 56 kg weight category silver is an inspiring one.
10.41 am: Women’s 4000m Team Pursuit Qualification underway and the Indian team of Deborah, Amritha, Sonali, Aleena and Monorama Devi clock a time of 5:05.668s. They are currently in 5th position.
10.30 am: A new personal best for Chanu. A magnificent lift. A 10 kg lead for her going into clean and jerk. She broke the CR record three times today (in the space of 6 minutes) – with each of her lifts. Stunning.
10.27 am: Another big lift. She goes into an 8-kg lead which is massive. She lifted 85 twice last year. Chanu is in a class of her own. She is the only one lifting.
10.26 am: Chanu is finally out. She starts off with a successful lift at 80 kg. She made it look easy.
10.14 am: Slight blip in the second game but Harinder was much too good for his opponent today. Through to the round of 32 - Men’s squash.
10.05 am: South Africa has their first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Henri Schoeman has won the men’s triathlon with a time of 52:31 in a brilliant performance at the Gold Coast. In second place was Jacob Birtwhistle of Australia with Scotland’s Marc Austin won the bronze, just holding off Australian Matt Hauser. Shockingly, neither Brownlee brother will finish on the podium.
10.02 am: In snatch, we are still only at 65 kg in the women’s 48 kg category. Chanu’s starting weight is 81, which will incidentally be a Commonwealth Games record.
10.00 am: Sandhu finds his way back into the game.
9.51 am: Moving away from the weightlifting for a bit and back to squash. Harinder has let the concentration slip away for a bit. After taking the first game easily, he has lost the second game.
9.49 am: “The competition in CWG is less as compared to Asian Games or World Championships, so it will be a bit easy in Gold Coast. I can say I will win the gold. It should not be difficult for me to do that,” Mirabai was quoted as saying by PTI ahead of the event.
Full of confidence! Read the piece here
9.45 am: The women’s 48 kg weightlifting event has begun. It will be a while before Chanu comes into play though. Her entry weight is considerably higher than most of the competition – 81 kg in the snatch and 103 in the clean and jerk.
9.38 am: Chanu’s event is about to begin finally after a slight delay. The lightest weight category in weightlifting. We will be focusing on that as the Indian is reigning world champion and the overwhelming favourite. She is also the Commonwealth record holder.
9.27 am: Women’s 48kg Weightlifting is about to begin. India’s MIRABAI Chanu stands a good chance here. Keep an eye on this. Event begins at 9.30 am.
Other India action: Harinder Pal Sandhu is taking on Cameron Satfford in Men’s Singles Round of 64.
9.18 am: A quick short profile of Gururaj, India first medallist at CWG 2018.
“For the longest time, the 26-year-old wanted to be a wrestler and follow in Sushil Kumar’s footsteps after he saw the latter clinch bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Unable to find a training academy near his home in Kundapura, Karnataka, Gururaja’s attention was diverted to weightlifting instead, by a watchful coach.”
Read the full profile here.
9.08 am: And finally, back to some India competition.
8.56 am: Time to kill? Listen to our podcast featuring OGQ CEO Viren Rasquinha, JSW Sports chief Mustafa Ghouse, former India cricketer Jatin Paranjpe and The Field editor, Ashish Magotra.
8.52 am: Sally Pearson, who carried the Queen’s baton into the stadium at the opening ceremony last night, is out of the Games due to an achilles injury. She is the 2011 and 2017 World champion and 2012 Olympic champion in the 100 metres hurdles. She also won a silver medal in the 100 m hurdles at the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2013 World Championships.
8.47 am: Meanwhile, as we wait for India’s next event to start, this story is sure to inspire you.
World champion Flora Duffy claimed triathlon gold for tiny Bermuda and Canada’s Joanna Brown took bronze just a month after breaking her shoulder.
Duffy, the 2016 and 2017 world title-winner, sprinted to victory in 56min 50sec to end Bermuda’s 20-year Games medal drought and become the islands’ first female medallist.
The 30-year-old, who will also compete in mountain biking, powered away on the 5km run to win by 43 seconds from England’s Jessica Learmonth, with Brown coming in five seconds later.
“The coolest part is that Bermuda’s a tiny place, but at this point we’re leading the medal tally,” Duffy laughed, after winning the Games’ opening event.
“It’s a really big moment for Bermuda. I think in Bermuda it’s going to be a pretty big deal at the moment, everyone will be going crazy.”
Here’s my last memory of Bermuda... *nod* if it is for you too.
8.25 am: Indian swimmer Virdhawal Khade, who finished fifth in his 50m butterfly heat, has also qualified for the semi-finals.
8.20 am: Not only did India’s Srihari Nataraj reach the semi-finals of the men’s 100m backstroke, but he has also broken a national record, it would appear!
8.15 am: India complete a 5-0 rout of Sri Lanka in the badminton mixed-team group match as Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy win their women’s doubles match against Thilini Hendahewa and Kavidi Sirimannage 21-12, 21-14.
8.10 am: India’s Srihari Nataraj finished 5th in his Men’s 100m Backstroke heat with a timing of 56.71. England’s Elliot Clogg won the heat with 55.08.
8 am: Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal has blitzed past Sri Lanka’s Madushika Dilrukshi Beruwelage 21-8, 21-4 in just 22 mins in the badminton mixed-team tie. India lead 4-0.
7.50 am: And here’s the man himself! India’s first medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games – Gururaja.
7.45 am: This is how the men’s 56 kg weightlifting final ended:
7.40 am: We have our first Indian medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as Gururaja wins the silver in the men’s 56 kg weightlifting final! Gururaja finished with a combined score of 249 kg across snatch, and clean and jerk. Malaysia’s Muhammad Izhar Ahmad won the gold after lifting a combined 261 kg, a CWG record!
7.05 am: Back to badminton. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have beaten Dinuka Karunaratna and Buwaneka Goonethilleka in straight games 21-17, 21-14 to hand India the tie 3-0.
7 am: In lawn bowling, India’s Pinki lost to New Zealand’s Jo Edwards 20-16 in women’s singles, while the Indian men’s triples team lost to Wales 23-9.
6.47 am: Meanwhile, India have beaten Sri Lanka 3-0 in the women’s team table tennis event, with facile wins for Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee in singles, and Pooja Sahasrabudhe-Sutirtha Mukherjee in doubles.
6.40 am: Wales beat India 3-2 in the women’s hockey Pool A match after scoring a late winner with just a couple of minutes to go. What a match! Not many would have given India a chance after trailing 0-2 in the third quarter but it was a brave effort from there by Rani Rampal’s team to give Wales a right fight.
6.28 am: India’s Gururaja has finished third in the snatch category of the men’s 56 kg weightlifting final with a 111 kg lift in his 3rd attempt. Clean and jerk still to come.
6.22 am: India have taken a 2-0 lead over Sri Lanka in the badminton mixed-team tie as K Srikanth beats Niluka Karunaratne 21-16, 21-10 in 37 minutes.
6.15 am: And it’s 2-2!! Rani Rampal has scored another goal for India in the third quarter. Wow!
6.10 am: Rani Rampal has pulled one goal back for India in the third quarter but Wales still lead 2-1.
6.05 am: Back to badminton, and K Srikanth wins the first game against Niluka Karunaratne 21-16. The Lankan put up a good fight in the first half but then fizzled out.
5.55 am: In table tennis, India’s Manika Batra has beaten Sri Lanka’s Erandi Warusawithana 11-3, 11-5, 11-3, while Sutirtha Mukherjee got the better of Ishara Manikku Badu 11-5, 11-8, 11-4.
5.43 am: Wales have taken a 2-0 lead against India in the women’s hockey Pool A match and it’s not looking good for Rani Rampal and her team. Meanwhile, the men’s singles match of the India vs Sri Lanka badminton mixed-team competition has started with Kidambi Srikanth taking on Niluka Karunaratne.
5.38 am: The table tennis has also started at Gold Coast, with India taking on Sri Lanka again in the women’s team Group 2 match.
5.35 am: Oooof! What a way to kick things off! Pranaav and Ruthvika just scrape through against the world No 419 pair from Sri Lanka 21-15, 19-21, 22-20! Great fight put up by the Lankans and they almost pulled off a huge upset. They should be proud of that performance. Here’s how the match went:
5.20 am: The Sri Lankans continue to play out of their skins in the third game, but Pranaav and Ruthvika have also stepped up a gear and lead 11-10 at the break. Still no way to call this match!
5.15 am: Meanwhile, Wales have taken an early lead against India in the women’s hockey Pool A match.
5.10 am: Would you believe it? We’re into a decider! The Sri Lankans were on the attack throughout the second game and opened up a 18-11 lead, only for Pranaav and Ruthvika to fight back and level scores to 18-18. However, the world No 419 pair held on to take the second game 21-19!
5 am: The world No 419 Sri Lankan pair is not giving up and have actually taken a very handy 11-7 lead into the interval of the second game. No one really expected them to win a game but we might just be heading into a decider here!
4.50 am: From 8-8, Pranaav and Sikki win seven straight points to open up a significant gap and from there it’s smooth sailing as the Indians take the first game 21-15. Ruthvika’s defence has been good and she even played a wonderful flick at the net towards the end of that first game. She’s slowly settling into the doubles format.
4.45 am: The Sri Lankan pair is putting up a proper fight against Pranaav and Ruthvika, who aren’t of course regular partners. Ruthvika does not play doubles on the circuit so this is new territory for her. The Indians are still leading 11-8 in the first game.
4.30 am: Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde are on court along with the Sri Lankan mixed doubles pair of Sachin Dias and Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa. Match begins in a few moments. Stay tuned...
4.20 am: In lawn bowling, India’s Pinki will be up against New Zealand’s Jo Edwards in the women’s singles, while the Indian men’s triples team will take on Wales. Here is the line-up for the men’s triples tie:
4.15 am: First up, we have the badminton mixed-team event, where India are up against Sri Lanka. PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy both have been rested for the tie, but Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth are playing.
India are the top seeds in the mixed-team event and have been drawn in Group A along with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Scotland. The Indians should easily top their group.
Second seeds and three-time champions Malaysia are the only team that can really come into the way of India and a gold in the mixed-team competition. Anything less than a silver will be a disappointment for India. You can read our preview here.
Here is the line-up for India vs Sri Lanka:
4 am: Good morning and welcome to The Field’s live blog for the first day of the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia. Indian athletes will be in action in a total of 11 sports on Thursday, including badminton, hockey, weightlifting and squash.
India’s day will begin with lawn bowling and badminton at 4.30 am IST, followed by hockey, weightlifting and table tennis at 5 am IST. Check out the entire Day 1 schedule for India here.
Britain’s Prince of Wales declared the Games open at an upbeat ceremony on Wednesday that included dancing lifeguards, giant flip-flops and a giant replica of Migaloo, the white humpback whale that has become a symbol of environmentalism in Australia.
However, it was not all smooth sailing, as aboriginal protesters held up the final stages of the Games’ baton relay with a sit-in along its route in Gold Coast. Outside the opening ceremony, there were minor scuffles as about 100 protesters chanting “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land” faced off with police on horseback.
Check out the photos from the opening ceremony here.
With inputs from AFP