India bag two bronze to take tally to 12

The new Games rule that a nation cannot sweep all three medals in the same event fetches pistol shooter Vijay Kumar a bronze.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 21:09 IST

The new Asian Games rules sprung a pleasant surprise for India as pistol shooter Vijay Kumar bagged a bronze in spite of finishing fourth while the rowing duo of Bijender Singh and Kiran Yalamanchi won another bronze to boost the country's medals tally in Doha on Wednesday.

Vijay Kumar finished fourth in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol event with a total of 775.3 just behind China's third-place finisher Guohui Liu, who managed a total of 776.5.

But the new Games rule that one country cannot sweep all three medals in the same event fetched 21-year-old Kumar the unexpected bronze.

China's formidable Zhongsheng Liu grabbed the coveted gold medal in the event while the silver went to compatriot Penghui Zhang.

However, much-touted markswoman Anjali Bhagwat sunk without a trace once again by ending up at the rear in her event -- 50-metre air rifle 3-position.

Kumar's bronze took the Indian medals tally to 12, comprising two gold, five silver and as many bronzes, which gave them the seventh place on the table.

In rowing, Yalamanchi and Bijender clocked 3 minutes 26.01 seconds to finish ahead of fourth-placed Kazakhstan in the men's lightweight double sculls event. The gold medal went to Japan and Thailand bagged the silver.

The Indian pair exhibited a power-packed performance in the first 500m to be placed second at the half-way stage, but they lost the fight for the silver to the fast-finishing Thai pair of T Ruthtanaphol and T Anupong.

India were were poised to win a few more medals before the end of the day's events in men's kabaddi, where they are favourites to win the final against arch-rivals Pakistan.

India's rising star Saina Nehwal stormed into the pre-quarterfinals of the women's badminton singles event with a 21-10 21-6 victory over Sri Lanka's Nadeesha Dura.

Settling into her groove quickly, Saina was consistent in her stroke selection as she launched a confident start to her campaign.

The 16-year-old Hyderabad girl, who reached the final of the World Junior Championships recently, was never really tested as she closed out the first round clash in just 14 minutes.

Dominating her opponent throughout, Saina led 13-6 and 17-8 before claiming the first game in just eight minutes.

Keeping up the momentum, the Indian girl was in no mood to allow complacency set in as she was equally impressive in the second game to wrap up the lopsided encounter.

Following her easy first round outing, Saina will now take on the challenge of Japan's Erik Hirose in the pre-quarterfinals.

In the round of 16, Diju and Vidyadhar will take on the Korean challenge of Jung Jae Sung and Young Dae Lee.

In swimming, Indians continued to disappoint with none of them managing to qualify for the finals of their respective events.

India's best known swimmer Rehan Poncha put up a dismal show in the men's 200m individual medley, finishing a poor seventh in the heats with a timing of 2:13.14.

"It was not a good day for me. The competition is very stiff at the Asian level and we have to keep working harder", he said.

Ankur Poseria was also a flop in the men's 100m freestyle taking fifth place in the heats with a timing of 53.22sec while another Indian in the fray -- Virdhaval Khade -- finished fourth in the same event in another heat clocking 52.12 sec.

Shikha Tandon encountered a similar fate finishing seventh in the women's 100m freestyle heat with a timing of 1:00.68.

First Published: Dec 06, 2006 21:09 IST