Birmingham: The women’s team of Lovely Choubey, Pinky, Nayanmoni Saikia and Roopa Rani Tirkey scripted history by winning the country’s first gold medal in lawn balls at the Commonwealth Games at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa here on Tuesday.
The women’s team struggled to overcome all odds and also took India to the top stage in a game of lawn balls, beating South Africa 17-10 in the final.
The Indian team made it to the final after defeating New Zealand on Monday, taking an early lead (8-2) in the final, only to be drawn 10-10 by South Africa.
But the team had Lovely Choubey in the lead role. He was accompanied by Pinky in second place, Nayan Moni Saikia in third and Roopa Rani Tirkey. He performed brilliantly in the final moments of the 15-loop match and managed to extend the score to 15-10.
At the end, the Indian team scored two points and went on to win the match 17-10, with South African pair of Thabete Muwjango, Bridget Kalitz, Esme Kruger and Johanna Snemann satisfied with the silver medal. New Zealand won the bronze medal.
Lovely Choubey said, “We are absolutely elated on winning the gold medal. We had come close to winning a medal a couple of times in the Commonwealth Games. But this time we showed determination from the very beginning and won.
Roopa Rani said, It was a very exciting match and South Africa fought well. So, throughout the match, we kept telling each other not to lose focus, focus on your bowling and at the same time think about your game and don’t get upset.
Team manager Anju Luthra said that the three girls have now introduced the game of lawn balls to the nation.
To all those who didn’t know much about lawn balls and thought we were just making up numbers, this is our answer, he said. The girls did a great job. We selected them and trained them. His hard work, dedication towards the game has made him a hero of the entire country.
Team coach and manager Anju Luthra said, “The girls played very well, they played as a team for the first time and this combination gave the Indian lawn bowling their best moment in the first attempt.
In fact, the team has created history and eventually led the Indian lawn balls game.