New Delhi: Indian shooters on Tuesday led the medal hunt at the Delhi Commonwealth Games winning two gold and two silver while wrestlers brought up the third, fourth and fifth golds on the second day of the Games here.
With this effort, India stands second in the overall medals tally behind Australia.
Olympic Champion Abhinav Bindra and world number 3 Gagan Narang were bang on target in the 10 mtre air rifle pairs to give India its first gold in the 19th edition of the Games.
They together shot 1193 points seeting a Games record. The two beat own record of 1189 points set in the 2006 Melbourne Games. Bindra shot 595 points and Narang 598, two short of his world record of 600 points.
The women’s pair of Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayyed gave the second gold with their sterling performance in the 25m pistol pairs event with a championship record of 1156 points.
Wrestlers Anil Kumar, Sanjay Kumar and Ravinder Singh bagged golds winning the 96kg, 74kg and 60 kg Greco-Roman category respectively.
The two silver medals were won by Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh, in the men’s 50m pistol pairs event, and Tejaswini Sawant and Lajja Gauswami the women’s pairs 50m rifle 3 position.
On their way to silver Rahi scored 584 points and Anisa 572 and broke the record of 1,150 set by Australians Lalita Yauhleuskaya and Linda Ryan at the Manchester Games in 2002.
In the men’s 50 m pistol event Omkar Singh contributed 548 points and Deepak Sharma 539 to finish second and win the silver.
Gagan shot an outstanding sequence of 99, 100, 100, 99, 100 and 100 for a total of 598, two points less than the perfect score of 600 that he shot in the World Cup final in 2008.
The Hyderabad man had a perfect score in his second, third, fifth and sixth series and faltered in his first and fourth sequence.
Abhinav shot a spectacular series of 100, 98, 99, 100, 99 and 99 for a tally of 595. He had just two perfect series in the first and fourth, but made up with his tactical brilliance.
Abhinav was the first to end his events and maintained a poker face. Minutes later when Gagan finished his events he punched in the air and waved at the crowd as India sealed the gold.
The silence at the 10 metre range was finally broken. Officials had to silence the crowd that erupted in cheers as other shooters were yet to finish their rounds. But by then India had opened up a huge lead ahead of England and Bangladesh, who battled for the second spot. Eventually, England took the second place.
An elated Bindra said it was his “best moment” since winning the yellow metal in the Beijing Olympics.
“This is my best moment since Beijing. It is always special to win a medal for the country. And this is the first time I am competing in a such a big event on Indian soil,” Bindra, who was also the country’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, said soon after the pair’s sterling show.
National coach Sunny Thomas said the gold rush for India had just begun. “This is just the start and shooters will win a lot of medals this time too,” he said.
Indians continued to move up in tennis and swimming. Games top seed Somdev Devvarman cruised into the second round of the men’s singles tennis with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Devin Mullings of the Bahamas.
In swimming Veerdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal qualified for the semi-finals of the 50-metre butterfly and 100-metre breast-stroke events.
Khade clocked 24.72 seconds and came eighth among the 16 swimmers who qualified from the heats for the semi-finals.
Sejwal clocked 1:02.72 seconds and stood ninth among the qualifiers. The semi-finals will be held in the evening.
In para sport, the Indian trio of Kiran Tak, Anjani Patel and Vineeta Pathak finished seventh, eight and ninth respectively to enter the finals of the women’s para sport 50m freestyle.
Kiran was the most impressive of the three as she clocked 38.79 seconds, followed by Anjani (47.64) and Vineeta (52.58).
India had won four medals – two silver and two bronze -on Monday.