India’s gold hunt gathers pace, swells to 11


New Delhi : Sterling performance by shooters, wrestlers and weightlifters at the Commonwealth Games took India’s gold medal tally to 11 Wednesday as badminton, tennis, table tennis and archery stars relentlessly continued their hunt for top honours.

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Weightlifters joined India’s gold medal bandwagon winning two, shooters added three more and wrestlers one on day three of competitions.

With eight silver and four bronze also in the hold, India’s overall tally stood at 23, for the second spot behind Australia’s 41, which includes 21 gold.

England were in third place with six gold, though their total was 26 with 11 silver and nine bronze.

India had won five gold, four silver and two bronze Tuesday.

Led by World No.3 Gagan Narang and Beijing Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, the Indian shooters set the Karni Singh range on fire, winning three gold and three silver medals Wednesday.

Wrestler Rajender Kumar won a gold, while a silver and two bronzes also came in this event.

Weightlifters N. Ravi Kumar and Renu Bala Chanu won a gold apiece while the women’s table tennis team pulled off a major upset by defeating a strong Australian side to power their way into the semifinals.

Elsewhere, Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvaraman moved into the quarterfinals of the tennis singles. Devvaraman and Rohan Bopanna moved into the men’s doubles quarterfinals, while Mirza and Rushmi Chakravarthi stormed into the women’s doubles semifinals. Bopanna, however, crashed out of the men’s singles.

India blanked Wales 5-0 and Scotland 4-1 to qualify for the quarterfinals of the badminton mixed team event while the women’s hockey team lost 1-2 to Australia.

Narang struck gold early, pipping Bindra in the 10m air rifle competition.

The second gold of the day for India was won by Anisa Sayyed in the 25m women’s pistol event.

Omkar Singh wrapped it up with a gold in the 50m pistol event.

The shooters continued the winning spree with junior world champion Asher Noria and world No.3 Ronjan Sodhi teaming up to net the silver in the men’s pairs double trap.

Rahi Sarnobat also bagged a silver in the 25m women’s pistol event.

Narang, who equalled his own world record in the qualification round with a perfect 600, went on to score 103.6 in the final round, leaving Bindra (698 points, 595+103) behind.