Indian shooters won two more gold medals and an unexpected bronze
came from the 20 km walk at the Commonwealth Games here Saturday
but there was heartbreak as tennis star Sania Mirza could manage
only a silver on the sixth day of the competitions.
With wrestler Narsingh Yadav also winning a gold, India regained
the second spot in the overall tally (as at 2000 IST) from where
it had briefly slipped Saturday but England was snapping at its
heels with just one gold less than the hosts' 24.
Gagan Narang picked up his fourth gold - the most that anyone has
got so far at the Games - by winning the men's 50-metre rifle 3
position event, while Harpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar topped in the
men's 25-metre centre fire pistol pairs event, taking India's gold
tally to 24, of which a good dozen have come from the
Later Saturday, Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav won a gold in the
freestyle 74kg category, defeating South African Richard Brian
Addinall 4-0. Evan MacDonald of Canada won the bronze, defeating
Pakistan's Mohammed Ali 5-4.
Sania Mirza, however, lost to top-seeded Anastasia Rodionova of
Australia 3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (3) in the women's singles final.
India made its mark in the Games' showpiece event, athletics, with
Harminder Singh securing the bronze in the men's 20km walk, adding
to Kavita Raut's historic feat Friday of winning the bronze in the
gruelling women's 10,000 metres.
Kavita, a tribal from Maharashtra, is the first Indian woman to
win an individual medal at a Commonwealth Games track event. Two
cash rewards came her way Saturday, with an elated Maharasthra
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal announcing a reward of
Rs.500,000 and Tribal Welfare Minister Babbanrao Pachpute
following suit with a Rs.250,000 award.
The Indian men's table tennis team salvaged a bronze, beating
Nigeria 3-0 in the third place play-off Saturday.
These performances saw India climbing back to second place in the
overall medal count (as at 2000 hours IST).
India has 24 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze against England's
23-39-26. Australia remain on top at 50-28-30.
In the process, India Saturday surpassed its Melbourne
Commonwealth Games medal haul of 50 with 55 medals so far. With
five more days to go for the conclusion of the Games Oct 14, more
medals are expected in its kitty.
Harminder Singh finished third behind the Australian duo of Jarred
Tallent and Luke Adams with a personal best of 1:23:28. The
26-year-old Harminder finished a minute and 10 seconds behind
silver-medallist Adams. Tallent, a double-Olympic walk medallist
at the Beijing Olympic, clinched the gold after trailing Adams
till the last two kilometers in a new Games record of 1:22:18.
There was, however, disappointment for India in the women's 20km
walk. Rani Yadav finished sixth after clocking 1:42:54. Another
Indian Sandhya Jolly came eighth in 1:51:44, while Deepmala Devi
failed to finish the race.
England's Jo Jackson grabbed the gold medal in by clocking
1:34:22, while Australia Claire Tallent, wife of men's gold winner
Jared, settled for the silver in 1:36:55. Kenya's Wanjiru Grace
took the bronze in 1:37:49.
Indian boxer Suranjoy Singh moved into the semifinals of the 52 kg
category, defeating Malaysian Mohammed Subrie 9-2.
In the hockey competition, Australia did just enough to ensure
themselves a spot in the semifinals of the men's section by
defeating Pakistan 1-0 for their third win.
With nine points in the kitty, the Aussies qualified from Pool A
with a game against Malaysia in hand while Pakistan and India will
fight it out for the second semi-final berth from this group.
With six points from three matches, Pakistan need to beat India
Sunday in their last match to qualify for the semis. However, the
hosts, although on three points, have two more matches in hand,
including one against Scotland Saturday night.