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India continues to harvest medals

Marksmen Samaresh and Gagan won a gold each with Abhinav bagging silver.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 18:27 IST

India continued to harvest medals in shooting at the Commonwealth Gameson Tuesday, with marksmen Samaresh Jung and Gagan Narang winning a gold each and Abhinav Bindra bagging a silver.

And Manavjit Singh Sandhu worked himself to take a share of the lead at the end of the first day in men's trap individual event.

Jung, on a pistol range, has become a euphemism for gold for India at these games.

After beginning with a silver that clearly left him disappointed, the 36-year-old launched into one of the biggest individual gold medal hunts in the history of the Commonwealth, picking up four golds in four events since March 16.

On Tuesday, Jung eclipsed Mick Gault, a legend and winner of 14 medals in Commonwealth Games shooting - to take the individual gold medal in men's 50m air pistol event.

The bespectacled marksman turned in a commanding performance as he topped both the qualification and the final rounds. He shot 554 out of 600 in qualifiers and then added a 96.2 in the final to take the gold medal.

He began a steady run with a sequence of 90, 95, 91, 91, 93 and 94 for a new games record of 554, which opened a two-point lead over Gault. At that stage Vivek Singh with a 545 was fourth.

Into the final, Jung again blazed away with a 96.2, despite a poor third shot which fetched him just 7.7. That 96.2 was nevertheless the best in the final and gave him a total of 650.2 and a new games record as a bonus besides the gold.

Gault's 93.9 in final ensured a silver, while Vivek with 93.6 was unable to move up as Daniel Roger with a 94.9 edged him out for the bronze.

It was India's 13th gold medal and Jung's fourth. A little later, Gagan Narang brought the 14th gold.

Narang opened in a whirlwind manner, shooting four perfect rounds of 100 each and then followed that up with 98-99 in the last two for a record 597.

In the final he shot a further 101.9 to consolidate his gold medal that was once again a record for the games -- a full two points more than Jin Zhang of Singapore.

Alongside Narang's gold, Abhinav Bindra chipped in with a silver medal.

It was Gagan's third gold medal of the games, after a gold in men's pairs events of 50m 3-position and 10m air rifle where he partnered Bindra. The duo will take part in the men's 50m 3-position individual event.

Manavjit Singh, son of the deputy chef de mission of the Indian team Gurbir Singh, shot a 24 and 25 to take joint lead with favourite Michael Diamond in the trap.

Manavjit, who was clearly upset at missing a medal in pairs, looked keen to make up in the individual event.

His teammate Mansher Singh, with whom he won a pairs gold back in 1998, was however trailing in tied seventh place with a 46, including a round of 22.

There was a bit of a shock for India in women's 25m pistol where Sushma Rana and Saroja Kumari, who had won the gold in pairs, failed to win medals.

Lalita Yauhleuskaya of Australia grabbed the gold with a total of 781.5 made up of 582 and 199.5. Kim Eagles of Canada (774.0) took silver and Pamela McKenzie of Australia (772.3) bronze.

Sushma Rana with 573 in the qualifiers was second best but her scores in the final round of 198.9 let her down and she ended fourth, a mere three-tenths of a point out of the medals. Saroja Kumari was sixth.

First Published: Mar 21, 2006 08:59 IST