India beat South Africa to claim historic maiden gold medal in lawn bowls in Commonwealth Games

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Aug 02, 2022, 07:18 PM IST
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CWG 2022: Indian women’s quartet clinched a historic gold in lawn bowls final vs South Africa in what was a thrilling contest. This is the country’s first-ever medal in the sport at the Games.

On Tuesday (August 02), India’s famous quadrant of Lovely Choubey, Rupa Rani Tirkey, Pinki and Nayanmoni Saikia competed in the historic women’s fours final with an aim to secure an elusive gold medal. After beating New Zealand in the semi-finals by overcoming a significant lead, India faced South Africa and won the final by a whisker in what was a topsy-turvy ride from the word go.

Indian stars showed nerves of steel and were ahead of the Proteas from the beginning. From a 3-2 lead, India soon made it a 7-2 scoreline and further were ahead by 8-6 before SA slowly and steadily clawed their way back into the contest. 

Thus, it looked like Rupali, Pinki, Nayanmoni and Lovely had lost the plot after dominating the first half of the summit clash. After SA went ahead at 10-8, Rupali delivered a decisive ball in End 12 to level the scoreline at 10-10 before India added three more points to their tally to lead 15-10 after End 14. Eventually, the quarter attained the country’s first-ever medal in the Games, which has been part of the mega event since its inaugural edition in 1930, with a 17-10 scoreline.

For the unversed, the likes of England (51 medals), Australia (50 medals) and South Africa (44 medals) have been the dominating nations in the history of lawn bowls. India, on the other hand, have competed in the discipline only in 2010, 2014, and 2018 editions, and managed a best of fourth position — in the women's triples event in 2010 and the men's fours event in the following edition — before they created history in women's fours final on Tuesday.

Thus, India continues to rise in the medal-tally with their fourth gold overall in CWG 2022. Recently, Lovely (a constable with Jharkhand Police) told PTI how MS Dhoni also visits them (Rupali is also from Ranchi) when they practice in Ranchi. "Dhoni sir knows our coach in Ranchi and has come to see us at the greens twice over the years. We have a Dewri Mata temple closeby, when he goes there he comes to see us as well. We had a chat about the sport as well. He said whenever he is in Australia he goes to play Lawn Bowls," Lovely told PTI.