Four-gold strike fails to keep India in second spot | other | Hindustan Times
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Four-gold strike fails to keep India in second spot

other Updated: Oct 09, 2010 23:44 IST

India's top drawer marksmen were bang on target while freestyle grapplers Yogeshwar Dutt and Narsingh Pancham Yadav came up with a power-packed display to help India bag four gold medals but England nosed ahead of the hosts in the medals table at the Commonwealth Games today.

England caught up late with India's overall haul of 24 gold medals, but a much superior silverware heist helped them in standing one rung below front runners Australia and one above the hosts on the sixth day of competitions.

Rifle ace Gagan Narang won his fourth gold medal, just one short of compartriot Samaresh Jung's haul at Melbourne four years ago, winning the men's 50m 3-position event with a Games record aggregate 1262.2.

He will now aim to overhaul Jung's record haul on October 12 and 13 in the 50m prone (pairs and individual) event and become the new "Gold Finger".

Centre fire pistol shooting pair, Vijay Kumar and Harpreet Singh, and wrestlers Dutt (men's 60kg) and Yadav (men's 74kg) also snapped up their gold medals in imressive fashion to take the host country's gold tally to 24.

It was also the country's second-highest gold medal tally in Games history and six short of the record 30 at Manchester in 2002.

But England -- with 41 silver to India's 17 -- edged them out in the bitter struggle to take the no.2 place on a day of fluctuating fortunes.

India's tally stood at 24-17-15 while England's read 24-41-29. Australia were way ahead with 54-30-31.

Sania Mirza, India's best bet in women's singles, won the day's only silver medal when she lost to Australia's Anastasia Rodionova in three sets in the final.

"Indian Express" duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, pre-Games favourites, ended up third in men's doubles while the country won four other bronze medals, including a first-ever in men's 20km road walk through Patiala's based Harminder Singh (1 hour, 23 minutes, 28 seconds).

Harminder was only the fifth man to win an athletics medal in Games history after Milkha Singh (gold in men's 440yard race in 1958), Praveen Kumar (silver in men's hammer throw in 1966), Mohinder Singh Gill (bronze in men's triple jump in 1970; silver in men's triple jump in 1974) and Suresh Babu (bronze in men's long jump in 1978).

The other bronze medals were claimed by women shooters Suma Shirur and Kavita Yadav, in women's 10m air rifle pairs event, men's table tennis outfit which blanked Nigeria 3-0 in the bronze medal tie and weightlifter Monica Devi (women's 75kg).