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Golden day for Indian shooters at the Games

Written by: Staff

Melbourne, Mar 17 (UNI) Spearheaded by Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang, Indian shooters' campaign in the Commonwealth Games got off to a golden start as they claimed three golds and a silver in the four finals of the pairs event decided here today.

With these early medals, Indian hopes for a bigger haul in the individual events starting next week got a tremendous boost.

Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang brought in the first gold medals in the men's 10m air rifle pairs shattering the existing Games record by a huge five-point margin.

Samaresh Jung and Vivek Singh then landed a silver, which was a disappointment for the Indian pair, who came in with hopes of a gold medal in men's 50m pistol pairs.

Then as the day wore on Sushma Rana, sister of pistol shooter, Japsal Rana and Saroja Kumari Jhuthu grabbed the gold in women's 25m Pistol pairs.

Bindra, who won a gold medal in the same event in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, with Sameer Ambekar also improved on the Games record. While Bindra and Ambekar shot 1184 four years ago, they shot 1189 this time for a new record.

Gagan Narang shooting in his first Games was in fine form with a total of 598 and that included four sets of a perfect 100 each and two 99s. Bindra opened sedately with a 97 and then had two more 98s and 99s and one perfect round.

Picking up a surprise silver was Bangladesh, whose Mohammad Asif Hossain Khan and Anjan Kumer Singha totalled 1181 and finished second, while Singapore's Ong Jun Hung and Zhang Jin were third.

''I am very pleased as this was my best score and we were going for gold from the start,'' said Gagan Narang.

Bindra, was however somewhat quiet, obviously hoping for a better personal score in the individual event next week.

Samaresh Jung and Vivek Singh, the defending champions in the men's 50m pistol pairs were disappointed with their silver, as they were hoping for a gold.

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