It turned out to be a bittersweet day for Samresh Jung at the National Games. First the Monday morning blues hit him as he finished fourth in the free pistol event.
The Melbourne Commonwealth Games' best athlete then struck gold at dusk in the 25m standard pistol event with a National Games record score of 579 to boot as he recovered from the disappointment he suffered in the morning.
“I was a bit shaky in the morning. However, I recovered after that to bag the gold,” said Samresh who bettered the 1999 Imphal National Games record of 578 set by Jaspal Rana.
The gold must have definitely given confidence to the Delhi-based Samresh who is competing for his native state Himachal Pradesh for the first time. However, the one thing worrying him right now is securing a quota place for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. “That's my sole objective right now,” he said.
Samresh, who had represented Andhra Pradesh in the last edition of the Games in 2002, finished behind Umesh Chandra Nainwal (Uttaranchal 648.3 — 553+95.3) Zakir Khan (UP) and Amanpreet Singh Jhaam in free pistol.
“I think I did pretty well (in free pistol),” said Jung and added that he was targetting a score of around 565 in free pistol this season. “It (the score) should be good enough for me to secure an Olympic berth,” said Samresh.
"With four World Cups and an Asian Championships scheduled this year, he is confident that he would be able to give India another Olympic quota place. As for the standard pistol event, Samresh said that he was satisfied.”
Expressing happiness for getting recognition from his native state Himachal Pradesh, Samresh said, “These things keep you motivated.”
In the women's 10m air rifle event, Tejaswini Sawant of Maharashtra shot gold with an aggregate score of 502.9 (399 + 103.9). Avneet Kaur Sidhu, who has already secured an Olympic quota place, failed to finish on the podium.
Meanwhile, Zorawar Singh Sandhu of Punjab clinched gold in trap, while Andhra Pradesh's Amit Sanghi bagged the top honours in skeet.
Assam, Services win
Hosts Assam and Services kept up their fine form to secure berths in the last four of the men's hockey competition. Assam gave a splendid display of fluent hockey to drub Tamil Nadu 6-2 while Services got the better of Chandigarh by a solitary goal. In other matches, Punjab came back into the reckoning with a 2-0 win over Delhi, while Orissa defeated Maharashtra 3-1.
Punjab, Bengal win
A scrappy Punjab rode on an injury time goal to go past Haryana to keep their semifinal hopes alive in the men's football event. Lalhil Mthara scored the all-important goal in the 93rd minute) to seal the match.
Bengal brightened their chances to making it to last four, drubbing Mizoram 8-1.
Shankar sets record
West Bengal's Hari Shankar Roy set a new meet record in high jump with silver-medallist G Benedict Starli also jumping to the same height. Roy cleared 2.14m to clinch first place.
Delhi in tennis final
Defending Champions Delhi rallied to beat Chandigarh and moved into the semifinals of the men's tennis team competition. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal also carved out victories to make their way into the pre-summit round.
Rehan rules the pool
Rehan Poncha set the 400 metre National record. He clocked 4:44.32 eclipsing J Abhijeet's record of 4:47.94 set in 1997 national championship.