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C'wealth: Canada pushes India to fourth on tally

On a day when only a single gold medal came India's way, courtesy marksman Gagan Narang, Canada sneaked past the next hosts of the event.
None | By V Krishnaswamy (IANS), Melbourne
PUBLISHED ON MAR 24, 2006 09:12 PM IST

On a day when only a single gold medal came India's way, courtesy marksman Gagan Narang, Canada moved ahead to third on the medals tally relegating the next hosts of the event to fourth place at the Commonwealth Games on Friday.

India has 20 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medals with two more days of competitions left in the games. Australia had extended its unassailable lead on the tally to 72 gold, 60 silver and 57 bronze while England continues it hold on second spot with 24 gold, 35 silver and 28 bronze medals.

Canada has 20 golds, 26 silver and 25 bronze and though both India and Canada have an equal number of gold medals, the latter gets the higher position by virtue of having more silver and bronze medals.

India's solo gold Friday came from the gun of Narang, who kept a cent percent record of four gold in four events participated when he gunned down the coveted medal in men's 50m rifle 3-position while also breaking the games record in this category.

The Hyderabad-based Narang had earlier won the gold in pairs events in the men's 10m air rifle and men's 50m rifle 3-position. He added the individual gold medals in both events.

Thursday's controversy involving two Indian weightlifters spilled over to Friday as the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) confirmed that two Indian weightlifters had tested positive in a dope test.

The CGF Medical Commission, which confirmed the two positive tests on Indian lifters, has referred the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Once it gets a green, the Indian Weightlifting Federation could be put under a ban extending anywhere between one to five years.

India's bad luck also extended to the shooting ranges as the man with the golden gun for India, Samaresh Jung, who has so far won five golds, could only manage a bronze in the men's 25m center fire pistol.

Despite his amazing golden run having been halted, Jung's bronze ensured he had returned with a medal from each of the seven events in which he has taken part at these games.

The 36-year-old has won five gold, one silver and a bronze medals in the games and still has the individual men's 25m standard pistol event to go Saturday.

India now have won 16 gold, seven silver and four bronze medals from the shooting ranges that exceeds the haul of 14 gold, seven silver and three bronze from the 2002 Manchester Games.

The signs were ominous when the qualification for 50m rifle 3-position began Friday. Narang opened the prone with 394, the same as his personal score in the pairs event.

Still his 394 was one less than Australian Ben Burge. But Narang followed that up with 389 standing and 380 kneeling. Burge dropped to 376 in standing and 379 in kneeling.

Narang's total of 1,163 was a whopping 20 points better than what he shot in the pairs. That also erased the games record set by another Indian, Charan Singh, in Manchester in 2002.

Meanwhile, Bindra, who had 386 (prone), 384 (standing) and 381 (kneeling), totalled 1,151, placing him second behind Narang, but just one point ahead of Burge at 1,150.

The final restricted to the top eight saw Narang blazing away again in 98.4. It was the best among the eight finalists and Bindra shot 97.6, while Burge collapsed to 88.2 to take bronze.

India's best hope in track and field events, Anju Bobby George, finished a disappointing sixth in the finals of the women's long jump as she struggled with her rhythm and could only manage a best jump of 6.54m on her third attempt.

Australia's Browyn Thompson took gold with a leap of 6.97m.

India's tale of woe in men's hockey continued as they lost 1-2 to New Zealand via a golden goal to be relegated to sixth spot.

In the badminton court, Chetan Anand was the sole survivor for India as he meets Nigerian Segun Toriola in a bronze medal play-off match after losing in the semifinals to Choong Wong of Singapore 11-21, 21-17, 13-21.

In the women's doubles semifinals Trupti Murgunde and Saina Nehwal went down tamely to top seeds Pei Wong and Hui Wei Chin of Malaysia 8-21, 3-21 in just 16 minutes.

Sharath Achanta Kamal is the lone table tennis hope left for India as moved into the semifinals of the men's individual open beating Singapore's Cai Li Xiao 11-3,13-11,11-8,5-11,7-11,11-7.

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