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Samresh set to create history, India win two more golds

Written by: Staff

Melbourne, Mar 21: Samresh Jung is on the verge of becoming the highest gold medal winner in the history of Commonwealth Games after he won his fourth gold in the 50m Pistol, while Gagan Narang set up a new Games record, winning the 10m Air Rifle event here today.

The 36-year-old security official, Jung, is till to participate in three more events and on current form the Indian looks unstoppable. He has so far won four golds and a silver Compatriot Gagan Narang has won three gold medals so far.

There was no stopping Indian gunners as they continued to dominate the ranges here and besides the two golds they also won a bronze through Abhinav Bindra in the 10m Rifle.

India have bagged a whopping 11 golds, four silver and a bronze in shooting competition so far.

In 50m pistol, Jung along with Vivek Singh qualified for the finals with scores of 554 and 545 respectively.

The CISF officer had a very tough rival in pre-tournament favourite Mick Gault. However, Samresh beat him to the gold again.

The Indian had beaten Gault in the Badge competition, couple of days before the start of the games, and today's win proved that Badge victory was no fluke.

Samresh had an impressive series of 90, 95, 91, 91, 93, 94 in the preliminaries while Vivek had an uneven one with scores 92, 89, 89, 92, 94, 89 and they made the cut along with six others from a field of 21 shooters.

In the final, Samresh totalled 96.2 taking his tally to 650.2 (554, 96.2) which fetched him his fourth gold of the meet. The champion, in the final, had a series of 10.4, 9.3, 7.7, 10.2, 10.5, 9.5, 10.3, 9.9, 8.8 and 9.6.

Vivek Singh did better then Samresh in the final. He shot 93.6 but his poor preliminary round score pulled him down to the fourth place. Vivek's scores in the final were 10.4, 9.3, 9.2, 8.8, 9.9, 8.8, 10.5, 8.8, 10.3 and 7.6 and he totalled 638.6 missing the bronze by a whisker as the third place winner Roger Daniel of Trinidad and Tobago had a score of 638.9 (544, 94.9).

Mick Gault claimed the silver with a total of 645.9 (552, 93.9).

''It is absolutely fantastic to be on the podium for the fifth day in a row and fourth time to hear the National Anthem while standing on top of the podium,'' said Samresh.

He, however, added that he was feeling bad for Vivek.

''He should have won the medal. He shot well but was a bit unlucky.'' Earlier, Samresh won gold in 25m Standard Pistol Pair, 25m Centre Fire Pistol Pair, 10m Air Pistol Pair and in 50m Pistol score, besides picking up a silver in 50m Pistol Pairs with Vivek Singh in last five days.

However, Samresh could not break Gault's Games record, which stands at 657.5. In 10m Rifle, Gagan Narang dazzled with his marksmanship and the Hyderabadi shooter not only created a Games record in the preliminary round but also had a final Games record (FRG0) to his credit.

Gagan, who had the distinction of winning the first gold medal of shooting competition in the Games for the country along with Abhinav Bindra, shot 597 in the preliminary round with a series of 100, 100, 100, 100, 98 and 99.

Team mate Abhinav shot 594 (99, 99, 100, 100, 97, 99) and they qualified for the finals along with six others from a field of 27 shooters.

In the final, which was a very tense affair Gagan was in sublime form. He shot an amazing 101.9 enabling him to pip close rival Jin Zhang of Singapre.

Zhang had an identical score of 101.9 in this round but had shot two points less than Gagan in the preliminary round (595) which cost him the gold.

The final was a heart stopper as Gagan and Zhang battled it out for the ultimate prize.

Gagan fired 10.4, 9.9, 10.2, 10.9, 9.6, 10.3, 10.0, 10.2, 9.8 and 10.6 (101.9), while Zhang's score read 10.5, 9.7, 10.3, 10.2, 10.5, 9.9, 9.9, 10.5, 9.9 and 10.5 (101.9).

Abhinav finished with a bronze having a total of 695.5. He also shot 101.5 in the final (10.4, 10.2, 10.4, 10.1, 10.6, 10.0, 10.6, 9.9, 9.5, 9.8).

Gagan, while winning the gold in 10m Air rifle pairs along with Abhinav on the first day, also bettered the existing Games record in that event.

He bettered the four year old Games record of 681.9 set by Asif Hossain Khan of Bangladesh by a huge margin of seven points.

''I am thrilled, the first gold was a great boost to our campaign and I am happy to win again with another new Games record,'' Gagan Said.

Abhinav complimented his compatriot for the excellent performance.

''He deserved to win,'' adding, ''I should have done well in the preliminary round.'' Gagan has won three golds in 10m Rifles Pairs and individual and 50m Rifle three position pairs with Abhinav in the competition.

In the men's trap event, India's Manavjit Sandhu was tied at the top with Australian Michael Diamond with an identical score of 49 at the end of the first day's match, while other Indian veteran shooter Mansher Singh was lying joint seventh in a field of 41 shooters.

Both Diamond and Sandhi have scores of 24 and 25 at the end of two rounds while Mansher Singh's 46 include 22 in first round and 24 in second.

Indian women shooters, Sushma Rana and Saroja Kumari, tipped to win a medal failed and finished fourth and sixth respectively in the 25m pistol event, which was won by Australian Lalita Yauhleuskaya with a new Games record total of 781.5 (582, 199.5) Kim Eagles of Canada won the silver with 774 (573, 201) and the bronze went to local Pamela Mckenzie 772.3 (572, 200.3).

Sushma shot 771.9 for the fourth place. The Indian shot 573 in preliminary round, 289 in Precision (98, 96, 95) and 284 in Rapid (95, 95, 94). Her final score was 198.9, 1.1 less then the bronze medal winner.

Saroja shot 763.8 for her sixth place. She had 568 in the first round with 280 in Precision (89, 95, 94) and 288 in Rapid (95, 97, 96) and in the final her total was 195.8.


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