Birmingham : Indian athletes were off to a good start on the seventh day of competitions at the 2002 Commonwealth Games here with two-time Olympic medallist P.V Sindhu and former World No.1 Kidambi Srikanth storming into the next round in women’s and men’s singles respectively while the track and field athletes Manju Bala (hammer throw) and sprinter Hima Das (women’s 200m) making it to the next stage in their respective disciplines.
In the evening, long jumpers Murali Sreeshankar and Muhammed Anees Yahiya will be lining up for the finals, hoping to add to the bronze medal that Tejaswin Shankar won in the high jump on Wednesday.
Sreeshankar, who has a personal best of 8.36m, topped Group A in the qualifying round, with a leap of 8.05 while Muhammed Anees was eight with an effort of 7.88m.On Thursday, Sindhu stormed into the next round with a comprehensive 2-0 win against Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq of Maldives in a Round of 32 match in Hall 5 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) here.
Sindhu, the top seed here who has already helped India win silver in the Mixed Team competition, did not break a sweat in outplaying her 23-year-old opponent from Maldives 21-4, 21-11.
Sindhu is hoping to add a gold medal to the silver she won in women’s singles at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.Srikanth, who too won a silver medal in men’s singles in 2018, started his campaign in individual events with a commanding 21-9, 21-9 win against Daniel Wanagaliya of Uganda in a second-round match.
Srikanth had a bye in the first round and will next take on the winner of the match between Sri Lanka’s D. Abeywickrama and Cassar S. of Malta to be played later in the evening.
Meanwhile, at the Alexander Stadium, former Youth Olympic Games medallist Hima Das topped Heat 1 in Women’s 200m in 23.42 seconds and qualified for the semifinals.
Overall, Hima was placed eighth in the list of 24 players topped by Nigeria’s Favour Ofili in 22.71 while Jamaica’s sprint legend Elaine Thompson-Herah, a five-time Olympic medallist in 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay since Rio 2016, qualified for the semis in 22.80.
In Women’s Hammer Throw, Indian strongwoman Manju Bala hurled the hammer to 59.68 metres to qualify for the final to be held on August 6. Compatriot Sarita Romit Singh managed a throw of 57.48m to finish 13th as the top 12 placed throwers qualified for the final.