Shooters bag two more gold, Sania a silver; India regain second place (Night Lead)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

NEW DELHI - Indian shooters won two more gold medals and an unexpected bronze came from the 20 km walk at the Commonwealth Games here Saturday but there was heartbreak as tennis star Sania Mirza could manage only a silver on the sixth day of the competitions.

With wrestler Narsingh Yadav also winning a gold, India regained the second spot in the overall tally (as at 2000 IST) from where it had briefly slipped Saturday but England was snapping at its heels with just one gold less than the hosts’ 24.

Gagan Narang picked up his fourth gold - the most that anyone has got so far at the Games - by winning the men’s 50-metre rifle 3 position event, while Harpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar topped in the men’s 25-metre centre fire pistol pairs event, taking India’s gold tally to 24, of which a good dozen have come from the sharpshooters.

Later Saturday, Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav won a gold in the freestyle 74kg category, defeating South African Richard Brian Addinall 4-0. Evan MacDonald of Canada won the bronze, defeating Pakistan’s Mohammed Ali 5-4.

Sania Mirza, however, lost to top-seeded Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (3) in the women’s singles final.

India made its mark in the Games’ showpiece event, athletics, with Harminder Singh securing the bronze in the men’s 20km walk, adding to Kavita Raut’s historic feat Friday of winning the bronze in the gruelling women’s 10,000 metres.

Kavita, a tribal from Maharashtra, is the first Indian woman to win an individual medal at a Commonwealth Games track event. Two cash rewards came her way Saturday, with an elated Maharasthra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal announcing a reward of Rs.500,000 and Tribal Welfare Minister Babbanrao Pachpute following suit with a Rs.250,000 award.

The Indian men’s table tennis team salvaged a bronze, beating Nigeria 3-0 in the third place play-off Saturday.

These performances saw India climbing back to second place in the overall medal count (as at 2000 hours IST).

India has 24 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze against England’s 23-39-26. Australia remain on top at 50-28-30.

In the process, India Saturday surpassed its Melbourne Commonwealth Games medal haul of 50 with 55 medals so far. With five more days to go for the conclusion of the Games Oct 14, more medals are expected in its kitty.

Harminder Singh finished third behind the Australian duo of Jarred Tallent and Luke Adams with a personal best of 1:23:28. The 26-year-old Harminder finished a minute and 10 seconds behind silver-medallist Adams. Tallent, a double-Olympic walk medallist at the Beijing Olympic, clinched the gold after trailing Adams till the last two kilometers in a new Games record of 1:22:18.

There was, however, disappointment for India in the women’s 20km walk. Rani Yadav finished sixth after clocking 1:42:54. Another Indian Sandhya Jolly came eighth in 1:51:44, while Deepmala Devi failed to finish the race.

England’s Jo Jackson grabbed the gold medal in by clocking 1:34:22, while Australia Claire Tallent, wife of men’s gold winner Jared, settled for the silver in 1:36:55. Kenya’s Wanjiru Grace took the bronze in 1:37:49.

Indian boxer Suranjoy Singh moved into the semifinals of the 52 kg category, defeating Malaysian Mohammed Subrie 9-2.

In the hockey competition, Australia did just enough to ensure themselves a spot in the semifinals of the men’s section by defeating Pakistan 1-0 for their third win.

With nine points in the kitty, the Aussies qualified from Pool A with a game against Malaysia in hand while Pakistan and India will fight it out for the second semi-final berth from this group.

With six points from three matches, Pakistan need to beat India Sunday in their last match to qualify for the semis. However, the hosts, although on three points, have two more matches in hand, including one against Scotland Saturday night.

Filed under: Commonwealth Games, Hockey, Tennis

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