Nigeria’s women’s table tennis team on Tuesday advanced to the quarter final rounds of the team event at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
Playing in Group 2, the Nigerian women’s team, who are one of the favourites for a medal at the Games, defeated their counterparts from Northern Ireland 3-1 to secure a spot in the knockout rounds.
The key match of the tie was the fourth game of the match between Nigeria’s Offiong Edem and the Northern Irish side’s Liu Na which saw Na, who is of Chinese decent, winning the first set 12-10 before losing the subsequent three sets 8-11, 4-11, 11-13.
The matches which came up at the Yamuna Sports Complex also saw the likes of Canada, England and Singapore, who like Nigeria are one of the favourites for a top-three medal finish in the women’s team event, advancing to the last eight.
The Canadians were taken to four matches by the plucky islanders from Guernsey but emerged as comfortable 3-1 winners, finishing as Group 1 runner-up behind top seed Singapore who, for their part, completed its group games with a straightforward 3-0 win over Tanzania, thus maintaining its perfect record of not dropping a single set so far.
England comfortably beat the Maldives 3-0 to consolidate top spot in Group 2 ahead of Nigeria.
In tennis, top seed Somdev Devvarman of India progressed to the second round of the Men’s Singles event by defeating Bahamas’ Devin Mullings 6-4, 6-2.
Mullings pulled a rabbit out of the hat when he raced to a 4-1 lead in the opening set but Somdev clawed his way back in the match by winning five games in a row. The Bahamian left-hander’s thunderous forehand left Somdev gasping. But before long, Mullings’ game succumbed to body cramps, preventing the big upset.
India grabs first gold courtesy shooting
The host nation however, won its first gold medal of the Games in shooting courtesy of Abhinav Bindra and Gangan Narang who fired in unison and shot a Commonwealth Games record 1193 in the men’s 10 metre Air Rifle event.
The pair together scored 1193 to break their own record, which they had set four years ago in Melbourne.
It was also a good day for India in the boxing ring as Indian boxers opened their campaign in style with Amandeep Singh (49kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) advancing to the pre-quarterfinals, following thumping wins in their opening bouts of the Games.
An almost packed Talkatora Stadium cheered lustily for every blow Amandeep and Manoj landed making it a day to remember for the Indian boxing team.
While Commonwealth gold-medallist Amandeep defeated Kenya’s Peter Warui 6-2 for the second successive time this year, Manoj was so dominant against Sirrera Leone’s Daniel Lassoyo that the referee had to award the bout to the Indian midway through the second round when he was leading 17-1.
Amandeep will next face Rawanda’s Haziza Matusi and Manoj will now square off against Gomotsang Gaasite of Botswana.