Vikas Gowda
Vikas Gowda clinched gold medal in men's discus throw in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.Reuters

Discus thrower Vikas Gowda made headlines on the eighth day by clinching India's first gold in athletics of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, while wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita added two more gold medals on Thursday.

Gowda improved on his Delhi Games outing, when he finished with silver, and clinched gold with a best effort of 63.64m, which he achieved on his third attempt. The Asian Games bronze medallist kept on improving with his every effort from 60.63m to 62.09 to 63.64 but his last two throws adjourned fouls.

With a rare gold in the athletics, he has become the only second Indian male athlete, after legendary Milkha Singh (440 yard gold in 1958), to finish on top spot of the podium in track and field event. Apostolos Parellis (63.32m) of Cyprus won silver, while Jamaican Jason Morgan (62.34m) finished third.

Meanwhile, grapplers continued their impressive performances and added four medals (two gold, one silver and one bronze) to put India on fifth in the medals tally. London Olympics bronze medallist Dutt was at his dazzling best and thrashed his Canadian opponent.

He took just two minutes in overpowering Canada's Jevon Balfour 10-0 and proved India's domination on the final day of the event as the grapplers added 13 medals including five gold medals in India's tally. "The controversy (over our selection) was uncalled for," Dutt said. "We showed that we are a good team. We could have won two gold medals yesterday."

In the women's category, Babita displayed a clinical performance against Canada's Brittanee Laverduire and patiently accumulated points to clinch the gold. However, Geetika Jakhar lost her final bout to clinch silver, while Pawan Kumar defeated Pakistan's Muhammad Inam to win bronze.

"I was a little apprehensive since we lost all the finals yesterday," Babita said. "I am happy that my gold can offer some consolation."

India also got a bronze medal in the gymnastics, when Dipa Karmakar finished third in women's vault finals. She became the second Indian gymnast, after Ashish Kumar, to win a medal in artistic gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, Kumar couldn't repeat his Delhi Games heroics, when he finished with two medals and only managed sixth in the men's floor final.

In a do or die encounter, India men's hockey team thrashed South Africa 5-2 to book a semifinals place. India went into the halftime 4-0 up, as VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh, Ramandeep Singh and SV Sunil were on the score sheet. The Lads reduced the deficit to 4-2 in the second half but Sardar Singh-led outfit sealed the match with Manpreet Singh scoring in the 57th minute.

Indian shuttlers continued their good form, as PC Thulasi, RMV Gurusaidutt, PV Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap cruised to quarterfinals. However, Kidambi Srikanth had to rally back after losing the opening game to beat Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne.

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