Potent denies Narang final hurrah, gets gold | other | Hindustan Times
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Potent denies Narang final hurrah, gets gold

other Updated: Feb 28, 2010 01:38 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times
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Few in the shooting fraternity don't know Warren Potent. The world record holder in 50m rifle prone was stretched by India's Gagan Narang but the 48-year-old Australian still stamped his class, winning gold on the final day of the Commonwealth Championships, at the Karni Singh Ranges.

On a day when India bagged two more gold - Gurpreet Singh (25m standard pistol) and Shweta Chaudhary (10m air pistol) — the talking point was Narang missing his fifth gold.

Potent, the world No.1, shot consistently in the finals to tie on 697.5 with Narang.

Going into the shoot-off to decide the winner, Narang shot a 10 while Potent shot 10.3 to clinch gold on his first visit to India.

It was Narang who led after the qualification round with 596, Potent a point adrift. But in the finals, the Indian 10m air rifle world record holder had a poor 9.1 on the sixth shot and again an average 9.7 on the 10th and final shot. Those two scores cost the Indian an outright gold.

The Australian champion, a diesel engine spare-parts manufacturer, shot consistently over 10 in the finals to tie with Narang.

On what keeps him going despite achieving everything in the world barring the Olympic gold, Potent said: “At 48, I am still having fun. Perhaps, I have a competitive streak. I am not disappointed that I don't have an Olympic gold. For me, the colour of the medal doesn't matter.”

The champion, who stays in Sydney with his Thai wife, said, “I got married last year after a year of courtship and am looking forward to returning home to be with her.”

Potent, a bronze-medallist in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and two-time gold-medallist in the 2007 World Cups, said he is looking forward to the Commonwealth Games.

Heartbreak for Meiraj

There was heartbreak for veteran Indian skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmed Khan too as he lost the shoot-off to Malcolm Allen of Wales.

Going into the finals leading with 120/125, Khan shot a 23 to be tied on 143 with Allen. In the shoot-off, he missed a bird while Allen shot both. On Thursday, Allen's wife too had clinched gold skeet.

Khan, who had entered his first international finals, left the range shattered.

India finished with 35 gold, 25 silver and 14 bronze aggregating 74 medals including the badge medals, while England was second with four gold and Wales third.