New Delhi: Two pairs of shooters were bang on target while grapplers made a clean sweep of all three titles at stake on Tuesday as India grabbed five gold medals to climb to the second spot in the medals table after Australia in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The Indian men’s 10m air rifle pair of Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and world record holder Gagan Narang started the gold rush for the country in the morning, which was sustained by woman shooters Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayeed, who picked up the pairs 25m pistol event for women.
Also See CWG Medals Tally (Graphic)
Champions all around: (clockwise from top left) Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang won the gold in men’s 10m air rifle pairs; Anisa Sayeed and Rahi Sarnobat, women’s 25m pistol pairs champions; Ravinder Singh, Sanjay and Anil Kumar won the gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling in the 60kg, 74kg and 96kg categories, respectively. Photographs by PTI & AP
Two more silver medals came India’s way from the Karni Singh shooting range before Greco-Roman style grapplers Ravinder Singh (60kg), Sanjay (74kg) and Anil Kumar (96kg) made a clean sweep of all three gold medals on offer from the wrestling mat to round off a splendid day for the hosts. 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 were second in the pairs 50m rifle 3-position.
The five gold and two silver medals boosted India’s overall tally to 5-4-2 on the second day after weightlifers gave it two silver and bronze medals each on Monday.
The three wrestling gold medals pitchforked India to the second place behind Australia after England overtook the home country briefly through their first two golds from the pool won by Liam John Tancock (men’s 50m backstroke) and Francesca Jean Halsall (women’s 50m butterlfly).
The day started in scintillating fashion for India when Bindra and Narang ended the first day’s gold medal drought with a Games record of 1,193, overtaking their own mark of 1,189 set four years ago in Melbourne, to clinch the men’s 10m air rifle pairs event.
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.
Sharma and Omkar ended up second in the men’s 50m pairs event (1,187) behind Lim Swee Hon and Gai Bin of Singapore. Later, Tejaswani and Lajjakumari finished second in the women’s 50m air rifle 3-position by equalling the 2006 Games mark of 1,143 points, Singapore’s Aquilah Sudhir and Jasmine Xiang Wei who broke the previous record by six points.
“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 won a medal in each of the four events they took part in.