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Shooters Scoop Five Medals To Put India In Second Spot

 New Delhi, Oct 5: Indian shooters expectedly came up with a top drawer show to pick up two gold and as many silver medals as India crept up to the second spot in the medals
PTI October 05, 2010 17:40 IST
PTI
 New Delhi, Oct 5: Indian shooters expectedly came up with a top drawer show to pick up two gold and as many silver medals as India crept up to the second spot in the medals tally behind leaders Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

 Ace marksmen Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang, one an Olympic champion and the other a world record holder, opened India's gold medal haul in the men's 10m air rifle pairs event with a Games record of 1193, overtaking their own mark of 1189 set four years ago in Melbourne.

 Their feat was followed by a superb display of calm nerves and dead centre shooting by the women's duo of Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayyed who added the second gold in the women's 25m pistol pairs event with a championship record of 1156 to boot.

 The two silver medals were earned by Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh, in the men's 50m pistol pairs event, and the woman's duo of world champion Tejaswini Sawant and Lajjakumari Gauswami, who stood second in the pairs 50m rifle 3 position, at the Dr Karni Singh range.

 Bindra, India's only individual Olympic gold medal winner, and world record holder Narang fired in unison to open India's golden run after a blank day for the hosts yesterday.

Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayyed brought home the second gold in women's 25m pistol pairs with a new Games mark and also relegated the previous record setters to the second spot.

The duo bettered the eight-year-old mark of 1150 by Australia's Lalita Yauhleuskaya and Lindia Ryan created at Manchester while also pushing the fancied Aussie duo to the silver standard.

Sharma and Omkar ended up second in the men's 50m pairs event (1187) behind Lim Swee Hon and Gai Bin of Singapore to round off an excellent morning for the sharp shooters on the first day of competitions.

Later Tejaswani and Lajjakumari finished second in the women's 50m air rifle 3 position, by equalling the 2006 Games mark of 1143 points, Singapore's Aquilah Sudhir d Jasmine Xiang Wei who broke the previous record by six points.

The two shooting gold medals also lifted the country to the second spot from last night's seventh in the medals table behind leaders Australia with a tally of 2 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals. The Aussies have a 7-4-1 tally.

 Yesterday, India had secured two silver and as many bronze from the weightlifting arena.

"Many thought I am a dictator, since I had imposed a gag order on the shooters prior to the Games. But whatever I was doing, I was doing for the country. And we have got the reward for that," said a beaming national coach Sunny Thomas after his team members won a medal in each of the four events they took part in during the day.

Indian shuttlers continued to dominate by dumping Barbados 5-0 after having inflicted a similar defeat to Kenya yesterday in the mixed team event.

P Kashyap shone on debut while Saina Nehwal continued her rampaging run. They were well supported by the mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju as well as the men's and women's doubles combine of Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar and Aparna Balan and Ashwini Ponnappa.

In tennis, men's top seed Somdev Devvarman rallied from 1-4 down against little known Devin Mullings of Bahamas before progressing to the pre-quarterfinals with a straight-set win.

Elsewhere, Indian swimmer Virdhawal Khade was the lone competitor to remain in fray from seven others when he made the semifinals of the 50m buttefly.

Khade, who yesterday helped the men's freestyle sprint quartet to become the first from the country to reach a swimming final in Games history, clocked 24.72s for eighth position.

But six others - Arjun Muralidharan (Men's 50m fly), Jyotsana Pansare, Fariha Zaman (women's 100m backstroke), Talasha Satish Prabhu (women's 100m freestyle), Aaron D'Souza and Rohit Havaldar (men's 200m freestyle) hardly made a splash and exited.

Para sport swimmers brought some smiles as Kiran Tak (00:38.79) and Anjani Patel (00:47.64) progressed to the semifinals in the 50m S9 Freestyle women category.

There was also a bomb scare at the Games Village when an anonymous caller claimed that a bomb has been placed inside the sprawling 63.5 hectares complex housing around 7,000 athletes and officials.

The call, received by police at around 2:30 pm, prompted a thorough security check at the residential complex, which has 14 blocks, 34 towers and 1,168 air-conditioned apartments, was conducted.

Dog squads and bomb disposal teams surveyed the huge area and a senior police official, saying checks were on, indicated that it could be a hoax call.

Following the call, bomb disposal squad also conducted searches at the Main Press Centre located in Pragati Maidan. PTI