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India's golden run continues

Vijay Kumar and P Tamang won men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol pairs event.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2006 11:48 IST

India's golden run at the shooting ranges continued on Sunday with Vijay Kumar and Pemba Tamang winning the gold medal in the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol pairs at the Commonwealth Games here.

To add to the duo's gold, India also grabbed two silver medals from shooting to take the overall tally in shooting to six gold and three silver medals.

One silver came from the women's 50m Rifle 3-Positions duo Anjali Bhagwat Mandar and Anuja Jung, wife of multiple medallist, Samaresh Jung. The other silver came from the men's Double Trap pairs, where Rajyavardhan Rathore and V Bhatnagar came second to Australians, Russell Mark and Craig William Trembath.

In the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol pairs, the young pair of 20-year-old Kumar and 25-year-old Tamang, showed that they have adjusted well to the new weapons and ammunition which they got after the Athens Olympics relegating New Zealand and South Africa to the second and third spots.

The Armymen shot a total score of 1134 with Vijay outscoring his teammate with 571 as against Pemba's 563.

"The new weapon and ammunition means we no longer see scores as low as before. But Tamang and Vijay are specialising in this event and are progressing well. They have a good future," said India's shooting coach Sunny Thomas.

Tamang won the Commonwealth Championships at the same venue last year, while Vijay took bronze at that event. Tamang also won the Badge Competition at the same range last fortnight.

The trap range at Lillydale is more than 50km from the main city and has a lot of jungle around, where local shooters often go for shooting. And to add to the wild, there are also a lot of flies, which disturb the shooters a lot.

But neither Rathore nor Bhatnagar used that as an excuse, though the formers score of 89 out of 100 with 45 and 44 in the two sets showed that he was clearly affected by it. Bhatnagar had 45s in both rounds.

In 2002, Rathore and Moraad Ali Khan had won the Double Trap pairs.

Coach Thomas said: "The flies are very bothersome and they sit on the face and even sometimes on the weapon and disturb sighting. Still I suppose it is same for all."

The Australians, Russell and Trembath shot 93 each and coasted to a comfortable win with a total of 186 as against India's 179. England took the bronze with 176, with Richard Faulds (89) and Stevan Walton (87).

A little earlier, Anjali and Anuja were edged out of the top spot by a mere one point at the Melbourne International Club. The gold went to English pair of Louise Minnett (574) and Becky Spicer (569) who aggregated 1,143 as against India's total of 1,142.

The winners also equalled the Games record standing since 1994.

Anjali, champion in the event four years ago with Raj Kumari shot 568 with 189 in prone, 193 standing and 191 kneeling. Anuja aggregated 569 with 192 in prone, 189 standings and 186 kneeling.

The Indian pair had their scores between 94 and 97, except for the first set in kneeling by Anuja, where she dropped to 92 out of 100. The bronze medal went to Malaysia who totalled 1140.

"It was disappointing to lose gold by such a small margin," said Anjali, who had four gold medals in 2002, two each in pairs and individual.

In the women's 10m Air Pistol pairs, Harveen Srao (375) and Sonia Rana (373) shot 748 and missed bronze by two points. The gold went to Australians Dina Yaspandiyaorva (386) and Lalita Yauhleuskaya (384) with Malaysian taking silver and England edging out India for the bronze.

First Published: Mar 19, 2006 11:16 IST