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Anuja Jung, Vijay and Rathore win gold; Pemba bags silver

Written by: Staff
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Melbourne, Mar 23: Anuja Jung followed in the footsteps of her husband, Samaresh Jung, and won the gold in 50m Rifle three position as the Indian shooters' golden pursuit continued with Olympian Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and pistol man Vijay Kumar also grabbing a gold in the Commonwealth Games here today.

Olympic silver medallist Rathore retained the Double Trap gold in a thrilling contest but could not improve upon his own four-year-old Games record of 191.

The Indian Army Colonel shot 181 but that was enough for him to retain his title.

Another Indian in the fray in this event, Vikram Bhatnagar, shot 133 and failed to qualify for the final. Top six from a field of 21 shooters qualified.

With this India's medal tally has increased to 24 medals -- 15 gold, six silver and three bronze -- with two more days of competition to go.

The 35-year-old Anuja ensured that Jungs continued their domination of the shooting range here when she shot down a gold in the 50m Rifle three position with a total of 670.7. Pre-tournament favourite and defending champion Anjali Bhagwat finished fifth with 666.3.

This was Anuja's second medal in the competition, having earlier won a silver with Anjali in the pair event of the 50m Rifle three position.

For the sixth day in a row, a Jung was on the podium to receive the gold. Anuja did not let her husband's absence being felt as she shot to glory and claimed the title. Samaresh, who has so far won five gold, had an off day today.

The CISF officer will return to action tomorrow.

''The Jungs seem to have captured the ranges,'' said an official adding, ''There seems to be no stopping the Indian National Anthem,'' as NRAI official Rajiv Bhatia watched the official's reaction with a glee.

The Jungs have garnered eight medals -- six gold and two silvers. Meanwhile, Rathore, who had earlier won a silver in the Double trap, started favourite to win the gold in his pet event. The Indian lived upto his reputation and defended his title well. He shot 137 in the preliminary round (46, 47, 44) and in the final, he shot 44 out of fifty to clinch the gold.

Byron Swanton of South Africa was second for silver with a total of 180 (134, 46).

While William Chetcuti, with 179 (139,40), earned bronze. Australian favourite Mark Russell was placed fourth with 178 (134, 44).

''I was confident of winning,'' said a beaming Rathore adding, ''Though there was competition in the final but I was focused.'' Vikram Bhatnagar shot 44, 43 and 46 for a total of 133. In the men's 25 m Rapid Fire Pistol Vijay Kumar won the gold with a new Games record of 778.2, while team mate Pemba Tamang claimed the silver with 775.0.

However, in women's 10 m Air Pistol, Harveen Srao finished fifth, while the other Indian in the fray Snia Rana failed to qualify for the finals.

Anuja and Anjali shot 574 and 570 respectively in the preliminary rounds to qualify for the finals along with six others from a field of 23 shooters.

The preliminary round was led by South African Esmari Reenen Van with 576 but in the final she was pipped by Anuja and had to settle for a silver, while Malaysian Binti Suryani Nur took the bronze.

Anuja shot 195 in Prone (98, 97), 189 in Standing (93, 96) and 190 in Kneeling (94, 96) for her 574.

Anjali had 193 in Prone (98, 95), 188 in Standing (94, 94), 189 in Kneeling (93, 96) to aggregate 570.

The finals went to wire as Anuja came up with a disciplined performance to fight back Esmari's determined challenge.

Watched by husband Samaresh, Anuja fired a stunning series of 9.5, 10.3, 10.1, 9.0, 9.7, 10.1, 9.9, 9.4, 10.7 and 8.0 to total 96.7. Esmari's score was 8.3, 9.6, 9.7, 10.6, 9.3, 8.9, 9.7, 7.7, 10.5 and 9.7 for a total of 94.0. She had an overall total of 670 (576, 94) for a silver, while Suryani took bronze with 668 (576, 92).

Anjali's final series was 9.9, 9.7, 9.7, 9.1, 10.7, 10.2, 9.4, 8.5, 9.5 and 9.6 for a total of 96.3 but her preliminary round score of 570 pulled her down to fifth place.

''It is just a great feeling,'' Anuja said. ''I am happy that I continued for Samaresh on his off day,'' she added.

In the men's 25 m Rapid Fire Pistol army man Vijay Kumar created a Games record totalling 778.2. Compatriot Pemba Tamang, with 775.0, earned the silver while Amir Izwan Hasli of Malaysia took the bronze with 770.4. Vijay and Pemba had earlier won a gold in the 25 m Rapid Fire Pistol Pairs event. Vijay, who led the field of 16 shooters with a Games record of 581 in the preliminary round, shot a whopping 197.2 in the final to total 778.2 The gold medal winner in the first stage of the event shot 293 (99, 98, 96) and 288 (97, 94, 97) for 581. Pemba had a first stage score of 289 (99, 96, 94) and then totalled 291 in the second stage (97, 100, 94) for 580.

In the finals, Vijay scored 197.2 after a first round series of 9.9, 9.0, 9.8, 10.3, 10.6, 10.2, 10.7, 9.4, 10.1 and 10.3. His second series read 9.0, 10.9, 10.0, 9.2, 10.4, 8.7, 9.6, 9.5, 10.5 and 9.1.

Pemba scored 195.0 in the final after a first series score of 9.1, 10.5, 10.3, 9.1, 10.8, 9.8, 10.1, 10.1, 9.9 and 10.1. This was followed by a second series of 10.1, 8.7, 10.0, 9.6, 10.3, 7.8, 10.0, 9.7, 8.9 and 10.1.

In the Women's 10m Air Pistol final, India's Harveen Srao made it to the final but finished fifth, while Sonia Rana ended 11th without making it to the final.

Harveen scored 374 in the preliminary round (93, 90, 94, 97) and in the final, she shot 8.0, 9.6, 9.5, 10.1, 9.7, 10.5, 9.0, 9.6, 8.0 and 8.3 for an aggregate of 470.1.

Australian Lalita Yauhleuskaya won the gold, her third in the competition, with a new Games record of 484.8 (384, 100.8). Her team mate Dina Aspandiyarova claimed the silver with 484.3 (386, 98.3) and Canadian Kim Eagles took the bronze with 477.6 (382, 95.6).

Sonia Rana totalled 371 (94, 95, 90, 92) in her preliminary.

UNI

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