New Delhi: Pistol shooters Vijay Kumar and Gurpreet Singh opened the gold medal trail for India by winning the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (pairs) event on the fourth day of competitions in the Commonwealth Games on Thursday.
This was the country’s 12th gold medal in the Games and half of them have come from the Dr Karni Singh shooting range.
India got their first medal from the archery range when 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.
“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.
India’s woman wrestler Geeta assured herself a silver when she defeated Lovina Odohi Edward of Nigeria in the 55kg freestyle category. But her teammate, 63kg grappler Suman Kundu lost her semi-final bout.
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.
With reports emerging that the Games swimming pool may be contaminated, leading to the increase in the athletes’ sick bay, the organisers were today left to do some emergency fire-fighting at the customary morning press conference.
Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi promised an inquiry and a solution by today.
Fennell said they were investigating the case, though they were yet to get any specific report from the teams about illness.
“We are ensuring that the water quality is tested. We don’t have specific reports about illness. We must find this out immediately. we have to deal with it. It needs some urgency,” he said, while responding to a query whether they would postpone the day’s finals.
Asked whether water at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Aquatics Complex was contaminated, Fennell said: “Let’s not speculate. We are concerned if the athletes were not well. These are being investigated, though we are yet to get specific reports from swimming.”
According to reports, almost two thirds of the British swimming squad have been hit hard by a “Delhi belly”, with leading English swimmer Francesca Halsall falling ill during an event that she was tipped to win.
Halsall slipped to third place in the final of the 100 meters freestyle and could only come 10th in the 100 metres butterfly semi-final as she started to faint in the pool after the race.
Team doctor Ian Gordon said: “It is hygiene-related.”
The Aussies are not spared either with a dozen swimmers including several international stars have fallen ill after stomach bug with the water at the Acquatics Complex being blamed.
Notably, Australians Andrew Lauterstein and Hayden Stoeckel pulled out of their respective heats this morning because of stomach bugs as Australian Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti said pool water could be a “possible” reason.
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 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.
“All the three were discharged from the hospital on Wednesday. They came in with certain injuries and were immediately looked after at the G B Pant Eye hospital,” Dr M Jegathesan, chairman, medical committee of Commonwealth Games said.