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India Grab Ten Medals To Keep Second Position

New Delhi, Oct 7: India maintained their second spot behind front runners Australia, bagging ten medals, including three gold by holding their own in the shooting and archery ranges, as well as in the wrestling
PTI October 07, 2010 21:14 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Oct 7: India maintained their second spot behind front runners Australia, bagging ten medals, including three gold by holding their own in the shooting and archery ranges, as well as in the wrestling and weightlifting arenas at the Commonwealth Games today.

The golden streak struck over the last two days was kept going by pistol shooter Gurpreet Singh who joined hands with Vijay Kumar and Omkar Singh respectively to snatch the gold medals in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (Pairs) and 10m Air Pistol (Pairs).

Haryana's Geeta gave India their third gold of the day on the first day of women's wrestling, that made its debut, by comprehensively winning the 55kg freestyle event.

India scooped up a bagful of three silver and four bronze medals to firmly remain in second spot behind leaders Australia with a tally of 14-11-9 while the Kangaroos jumped further ahead of the rest with a haul of 29-16-14.

The shooting gold medals provided by the men's pistol wielders took the country's overall gold tally from the Dr Karni Singh range to 6, showing how much the marksmen and women have contributed in keeping India's flag flying high.

Grappler Geeta trounced her rival Emily Bensted of Australia in the 55 kg category final. She entered the gold medal round by defeating Lovina Odohi Edward of Nigeria, but her teammate - 63kg grappler Suman Kundu - lost in the semi-finals.

Men's double trap shooting ace Ronjon Sondhi got a silver medal along with the men's archery compound team and women's 48kg freestyle grappler Nirmala Devi.

The four bronze medals came in archery (women's team compound event), woman grappler Suman Kundu (63kg) 77kg weightlifter Sudhir Kumar and Ashish Kumar, a surprise medallist in men's gymnastics (floor exercise).

India struck gold early on the fourth day when marksmen Vijay Kumar and Gurpreet Singh clinched the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (pairs) event before the men's and women's archery teams added to the medal tally with a silver and a bronze.

Kumar and Gurpreet together fired 1162 to bag the top prize in the pistol event ahead of Malaysia's Amir Hasan Hasli Izwan and Adzha Hafiz (1142) and Australian bronze medal winning duo of Bruce Quick and David Chapman (1125).

The Indian men's compound team lost to England by two points (229-231) in the gold medal-deciding match while the women defeated Malaysia by four points (223-219) in the corresponding event's bronze play-off tie. These were the first two medals for the country from the archery range.

The Indian men's archery outfit gave a hard time to their English rivals before losing narrowly in the final.

The trio of Bheigyabati Chanu, Jhano Hansdah and Gagandeep won the bronze in the women's compound archery team event beating Malaysia 223-219 in a thrilling third place play-off tie that went to the wire.

Needing five points to clinch the bronze with one arrow left, Indians won the thrilling clash between the two Asian nations Hansdah showed nerves of steel to calmly fire an 8-pointer to haul in the country's first medal in the bow and arrow competition.

The Indians went out of contention for the gold by losing to Canada in the semi-finals while Malaysia failed to make the grade after losing to England in the other semi-final.

But world champion Tejaswini Sawant and Lajja Gauswami fell by the wayside in the 50m rifle 3 position singles.

"We are happy with our performance. All of us held our nerves in pressure situation to clinch the bronze," Chanu said after clinching the team bronze.

Indian challenge continued to remain strong in table tennis, tennis and badminton

The women's team made it to the final of the table tennis championship by defeating England in the semi finals.

Men's tennis top seed Somdev Devvarman inched closer to a medal in the singles with a 6-3 6-4 win over sixth seed Rubin Statham of New Zealand.

Ace Indian shuttlers Chetan Anand and Saina Nehwal notched up contrasting wins as India thrashed Canada 3-0 to set up a semifinal clash with England in the mixed badminton team event.

Mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju just took 19 minutes to make short work of NG Toby and Gao Grace 21-8 21-12 in the first match of the day to give India a 1-0 lead.

Saina then sealed the issue in India's favour with a 21-16 21-13 victory over her one-time doubles partner Anna Rice in the women's singles.

But in men's hockey India went down tamely 2-5 against world and Games champions Australia.

But glitches continued to dog the Games with the organisers confronted with the problem of several swimmers, mostly from the England contingent, complaining of pool-related sickness.

Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi promised an inquiry and a solution by today.

More trouble came the organisers' way following a freak accident at the Games Village that resulted in three top officials of the Uganda delegation, including their Chef De Mission, getting injured in a freak accident and had to be hospitalised for treatment.

Uganda Chef De Mission William Tumwine, Administrative Officer Iren and Press Attache Juliet were injured on Tuesday night when the official games car they were travelling in braked suddenly and hit the hi-tech underground sharp metal stoppers that had sprung up as they were entering the Village.

All of them have been discharged from the hospital after being treated for different injuries but are being currently monitored in the Village.

The Mayor of the Games Village today apologised to the Uganda delegation for the freak accident which was appreciated by the visiting team's contingent chief.

"The mayor of the Games Village (Dalbir Singh) came to us, offered a bouquet of flower and apologised for the incident on behalf of everybody. I am happy that the mayor came and consoled us," Uganda Chef de Mission William Tumwine told PTI.

Tumine, however, blamed Delhi Police for the incident and said nobody from the force came to see the injured officials and offer regret for the incident.

"Nobody from Delhi Police came to us and apologised. But we are happy that the mayor came," he said.

Uganda's Minister of State for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi had demanded an apology from the Indian authorities for the incident. PTI