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Rana signs off after plucking two gold medals

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 18:37 IST

Pistol shooter Jaspal Rana signed off from the Asian Games in glory by firing his way to two more gold medals and a world-record equalling score at the Lusail Range in Doha on Friday.

The 30-year-old Rana, who broke India's gold medal drought in the Games shooting by clinching the 25-metre standard pistol title on Thursday is battling sickness, excelled that feat by equalling the 25-metre centre fire pistol world mark with a total of 590 points.

The superb feat fetched Rana -- incidentally India's second gold medal winner in shooting in the Games history -- not only the individual gold but also enabled India wrap up the team title.

Rana, who had won the standard pistol gold medal in the 1994 Asiad at Hiroshima, equalled the world record standing in the name of seven others to become the toast of the nation for the second day running.

The Indian team, with Samresh Jung and Vijay Kumar as the other two members, put off the challenge of South Korea and China to emerge title winners.

Rana also stopped in his track the bid of reigning world and defending champion Liu Guohui to retain the crown, which he won four years ago in Busan.

While Rana beat back the strong challenge of Guohui by three points, the Indian trio (1748 points) bettered the Koreans' aggregate by a whopping 10 points.

The two gold medals from the range not only boosted India's gold tally to four but also helped them climb up the medal ladder by one rung - to fifth - with an overall heist of six gold, eight silver and nine bronze, in which the shooters' contribution was 3-5-6.

But off the shooting range, the scenario was not too encouraging as the shuttlers ended their lukewarm campaign without causing a flutter though the women's hockey team kept themselves in the medal hunt by slamming Hong Kong 7-0 in their round robin tie.

Surinder Kaur slammed in four goals in India's thumping win over Hong Kong in women's hockey while the other goals were notched by captain Jyoti Sunita Kullu and Jasjeet Kaur Handa at the Al-Rayyan hockey stadium.

India, who went to the top of the league after the victory with nine points from four matches, are to play Japan on Saturday.

But on the badminton courts, the Indian challenge came to an end with the elimination of men's doubles pair of Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar in quarterfinals.

Thomas and Kumar made a bright start before fading out against their third-seeded Indonesian opponents Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, losing 18-21 21-9 21-11.

The other Indian pair of S Vidyadhar and V Diju was outclassed in the round of 16 by strong title contenders Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae by 21-16 21-14 in just 20 minutes.

The women's handball team lost to Kazhakistan 17-38 to suffer their second defeat in the four-team group and are virtually out of the semi-final race.

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