India’s gold kitty at Commonwealth Games swells to 10 (Evening Lead)

October 6th, 2010 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Abhinav Bindra New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Riding on the shooters and wrestlers, India’s gold kitty at the Commonwealth Games swelled to 10 on the third day of competitions Wednesday. With seven silvers and three bronze also in the bag India, are now second in the medals tally with 20, against Australia’s 32.

Led by World No.3 Gagan Narang and Beijing Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, Indian shooters set the Karni Singh range on fire, winning three gold and three silver medals Wednesday. Wrestlers Renu Bala Chanu and Rajinder Singh won a gold apiece.

Overall, it was a satisfying day for the hosts as Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvaraman moved into the quarterfinals of the tennis singles whereas Rohan Bopanna crashed out .

India blanked Wales 5-0 to qualify for the quarterfinals of the badminton mixed team event while the women’s hockey team lost 1-2 to Australia.

Narang struck gold early, pipping Bindra in the 10m air rifle competition.

The second gold of the day for India was won by Anisa Sayyed in the 25m women’s pistol event.

Omkar Singh wrapped it up with a gold in the 50m pistol event.

The shooters continued the winning spree with junior world champion Asher Noria and world No.3 Ronjan Sodhi teaming up to net the silver in the men’s pairs double trap.

Rahi Sarnobat also bagged a silver in the 25m women’s pistol event.

Narang, who equalled his own world record in the qualification round with a perfect 600, went on to score 103.6 in the final round, leaving Bindra (698 points, 595+103) behind. The bronze medal went to James Huckle (693.5, 591+102.5) of England.

The Hyderabadi marksman pumped the air with clenched fist in jubilation. There was a palpable feeling of elation in Narang who, his admirers felt, did not get his due in the shadow of Bindra.

Narang bettered his own World record of 703.5 he set at Bangkok World Cup final in 2008 and his own Commonwealth Games record in Melbourne four years ago.

The record, however, will not be ratified by the International Shooting Federation (ISSF) as it only recognises records set at the Olympics, World Cups, World Cup finals and World Championships.

The Indian shooters have so far won five gold and five silver medals.

Weightlifter Chanu won the gold in the women’s 58kg category, while Rajender Kumar took the gold in the Greco-Roman 55kg category, defeating Pakistan’s A. Hussain 11-0. India had won all three gold on offer on the first day of wrestling Tuesday.

In other Greco-Roman bouts, Manoj Kumar overcame South African Van Zyl in the 84 kg category to enter the final while Dharmendar Dalal was beaten by Australia’s Ivan Popov in the semifinals of the 120 kg category.

In tennis, Sania defeated Brittany Teei of Cook Islands 6-0, 6-2 to move into the quarterfinals of the women’s singles while Somdev got the better of Sri Lankan Amresh Jayawickreme 6-0, 6-1 to make it to the last eight of the men’s singles.

Rushmi Chakravarthi shocked third seed Katie O’Brien of England 1-6, 7-6, 7-5 to also enter the quarterfinals of the women’s singles.

Bopanna, however, lost to second seed Australian Peter Luczak 2-6, 6-7 (5) in the second round.

India, who won the badminton bronze four years ago, registered their third successive win, having earlier thrashed Kenya and Barbados in an identical fashion.

Chetan Anand, the World No. 17, and Aditi Mutatkar, making her debut in the Games replacing Saina Nehwal, carved out easy victories while the men’s doubles pair of Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar had a relatively tougher outing. Ashwini Ponnappa and Aparna Balan then played their part in the women’s doubles while the reliable mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V. Diju wrapped it up for India.

In the women’s hockey competition, Australia scored once in each half to wear down India 2-1 for their second win in pool A.

Goals by Shelly Liddelow (12th) and Megan Rivers (60th) set up the Aussie win as the Indians, who had drawn 1-1 with Scotland, woke up to the task rather too late and Rani Rampal’s strike in the 68th minute went in vain.

In men’s hockey, world champions Australia blanked Scotland, running up a 9-0 victory to open their campaign.

Four of their goals came from penalty-corner conversions through Luke Doerner (3) and Chris Ciriello, who also struck one from open play. Rob
Hammond, Trent Mitton, Simon Orchard and Des Abboott also got into the act.

In the women’s hockey competition, England survived an initial scare to beat Canada 4-1 for their second win in Pool B.

Canada struck early from a penalty stroke by Diana Roemer. But England fought back to score through Kate Walsh, Alex Danson (2) and Crista Cullen to hand Canada their second defeat.

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