Although the auspicious festival of Diwali is long gone, this weekend belatedly brought all the joy and good fortune associated with the festival for sports fans in India. Here's a look at the accolades and trophies India won in a range of sports, making this weekend particularly special.
Srikanth clinches Denmark Open title
The most significant victory of the weekend for the nation came when Kidambi Srikanth clinched his third Superseries title of the season on Sunday, as he crushed South Korean Lee Hyun II to win the men's singles title.
Srikanth cantered to a 21-10, 21-5 win in just 25 minutes as he added to the titles of Australian Open and Indonesian Open in the season. Overall, it was his fifth Superseries title.
Playing in his fourth Superseries final of the highly productive 2017, the 24-year-old from Guntur was dominant from the beginning, determining the pace of the game.
World No 15 Lee hardly got a grip of Srikanth's tenacity, placements and the variety of his strokes.
The Indian held an 11-6 lead in the first game till the mid-game break and then Srikanth kept firing winners and forcing Lee to make unforced errors.
With his smashes falling in place, Srikanth raced to a 21-10 win in the first game.
The second game was a one-way traffic, with a ruthless clinching of one point after another.
India defeat Malaysia to win Hockey Asia Cup
In another moment of jubilation for all the sports lovers in India, on the very same day, Indian hockey team underlined their continental supremacy as they overcame a fighting Malaysia 2-1 in to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.
Ramandeep Singh (third minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India while Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia, forcing India to defend their territory for the nervous late moments of the game.
India's previous two titles came in 2003 and 2007.
India got off to a dream start when SK Uthappa made a long pass from the left. At the left post, an unmarked Ramandeep tapped the ball on to the bar. When it rebounded, he didn't miss to give India an early advantage.
A defensive lapse from Sardar Singh let Shahril drive past Indian keeper Suraj in the 50th minute to reduce the margin — and to open up the contest.
A desperate Malaysia employed long balls to Indian box and suddenly the Indians came under pressure. They conceded two penalty corners but Razie Rahim's flicks were not good enough.
Gaganjeet Bhullar wins Macao Open
The 29-year-old golfer from Punjab's Kapurthala continued the dream weekend for Indian sports as he equalled Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa's record of most wins (eight) by an Indian on the Asian Tour en route to a win at the Macao Open on Sunday.
Bhullar held his nerve to complete a wire-to-wire victory.
Bhullar had seen his four-shot lead reduced to one in round three but on Sunday, he drained five birdies on the front nine and won by three shots despite a nerve-jangling double bogey on 16.
The 29-year-old fired rounds of 64, 65, 74 and 68 for an aggregate score of 13-under 271, lifting his first Asian Tour trophy of the year.
Bhullar's fellow Indian Ajeetesh Sandhu and Filipino Angelo Que shared second place at par-71 Macau Golf and Country Club, while Taiwan's Hung Chien-Yao was alone in fourth.
Indian women win silver at World Archery Championships
Meanwhile, earlier on Saturday, Indians were greeted with the news of their women's archery team winning a silver at at the World Archery Championships in the compound team archery category.
This was India's fifth medal at the World Championships and all of them have been silver.
The team of Lily Chanu Paonam, Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Trisha Deb were beaten by Colombia's trio of Sara Lopez, Alejandra Usquiano and Nora Valdez, who ended up securing gold for their country.
The match ended at 228-234 in favour of Colombia.
Boxers shine at Balkan Boxing Championship
Finally, India claimed eight medals, including four gold, in the Balkan International Boxing Championship in Bulgaria's Sofia to emerge as the most successful country in the fray.
The week-long tournament saw India's top 10 youth women's boxers compete with 49 others from 13 countries.
Netu (48 kg) began the gold medal charge, outclassing Emi-Mari Todorova of Bulgaria 5-0 while Shashi (57 kg) got the better of Italian Giordana Sorrentino for the country's second gold.
In the 54 kg summit clash, the referee stopped the contest in the second round two against Biancamaria Tessari of Italy to hand Sakshi the third gold.
Neha Yadav (+81 kg) beat Adrienne Juhasz of Hungary 3-2 for the fourth gold medal.
Ankushita (64 kg), however, lost out to Rebecca Nicolo of Italy to settle for the silver.
Joy Kumari (51 kg), Anupama (+81 kg) and Sapna (75 kg) narrowly tumbled out in the semi-final rounds to pick up a bronze each.
However, a potentially perfect weekend for sports lovers in India was ruined as the country lost in the only sport in which it is least expected to — cricket.
On the back of a sedate century by Tom Latham, who along with Ross Taylor stitched together a 200-run stand, New Zealand defeated India in the first ODI in Mumbai. They successfully chased 281 to go up 1-0 in the three-match series.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Oct 23, 2017 01:03 pm | Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017 01:03 pm