Aug 05, 2012 at 02:35am IST

Olympics, Day 8: Saina Nehwal wins lucky bronze

London: Saina Nehwal won India its third medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, after being declared the winner in the women's badminton play-off for the bronze medal after her Chinese opponent Wang Xin withdrew with an injured knee. And the news became sweeter with boxer Devendro Singh's entry into the Men's Light Flyweight quarter-finals.

Saina's opponent Wang, the World No. 2, won the first game despite the injury she suffered at the end of it. She won the first game 21-18, but before claiming the final point, she strained her knee. Wang received medical attention before claiming the game, but broke down soon into the second game – with the score 1-0 in her favour - before she hobbled off the court.

Devendro's Round-of-16 bout followed soon after and he hammered his Mongolian opponent Serdamba Purevdorj 16-11 to move into the quarter-finals. Another win for the Indian will ensure a bronze for him, as both the losing semi-finalists end on the podium in Olympic boxing.

Olympics, Day 8: Saina Nehwal wins lucky bronze

Saina Nehwal won bronze after her Chinese opponent Xin Wang withdrew injured having won the first game of the third-place playoff. (Reuters)

Saina saved four game points in a dramatic fightback in the first game and was 18-20 when left-handed Xin twisted her knee while going for an acrobatic smash from the baseline. She took on-court treatment for the injury after that.

But after winning the first game and the opening point of the second, Xin could not continue and was soon seen shaking hands with Saina with a wince. Saina thus became the first Indian badminton player to win a medal at the Olympic Games. She had reached the quarter-finals at the Beijing Games four years ago.

For shooting, it was not a good day after Vijay won the event's second medal - a silver - for India on Friday. Shagun Chowdhary's campaign also ended on a disappointing note as she failed to qualify for the finals of the women's trap event. Shagun finished 20th out of the 22 competitors.

In athletics, runner Sudha Singh crashed out after failing to qualify for the final of the women's 3000m steeplechase. She could only managed a 13th place out of the 15 runners who ran the first heat on Saturday. Sudha, a gold medal winner in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, clocked 9:48.86.

India's campaign in the rowing event also came to a dismal end as the men's doubles sculls team of Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh finished 19th. They avoided getting the wooden spoon by defeating the Egyptian team of Mohamed Nofel and Omar Emira with a timing of 7:08.39 secs.

India's challenge in tennis at the London Olympics ends as Leander Paes-Sania Mirza lose to the Belarus pair of Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka 5-7, 6-7 in the mixed doubles quarter-finals.

As a recap of India's tennis event, Bhupathi-Bopanna and Paes-Vardhan lost in the second round of the men's doubles; Sania-Rushmi lost in the first round of the women's doubles; and Somdev and Vardhan lost in the first round of men's singles.

Elsewhere in athletics, India's Irfan Thodi finished a creditable 10th in the men's 20km Race Walk competition with a new national record in the London Olympics. Irfan clocked 1::20:21 in the race participated by 56 walkers, bettering the old national record of 1::20.35 in the name of Gurmeet Singh.

Gurmeet finished 33rd with a timing of 1::23:34 while the third Indian in the fray, Baljinder Singh was 43rd in 1::25:39.

Meanwhile, discus thrower Krishna Poonia failed to get a medal for India as she finished 7th with her best throw being 63.62m. Croatia's Sandra Perkovic's throw travelled 69.11m to fetch her gold.

Late on Saturday night, Indian boxer Manoj Kumar bowed out after a 20-16 pre-quarters defeat by Great Britain’s third-seeded Thomas Stalker in the 64kg category.