13 Oct : The shooting range provided India with a record 31st gold in the Commonwealth Games when Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh triumphed in the women’s 10m air pistol pairs event even as a second dope scandal in as many days came to light to take grab the spotlight.
Two silver medals also came India’s way from the Dr Karni Singh range while a second Nigerian track athlete, men’s high hurdler Samuel Okon, tested positive for the same banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine which was detected in his compatriot and women’s 100m winner Osayemi Oludamola.
Samresh Jung, five-gold hero of the 2006 Games, and Chandrashekhar Kumar Choudhary stood second in the 25m Standard Pistol pairs event for men and world champion Tejaswani Sawant grabbed the second spot in the 50m Rifle Prone individual event for women.
There was a three-way tie among India, Australia and Canada in the women’s 10 metre air pistol with all the teams logging 759 points.
India, with Heena shooting 384 and Annu logging 375, got the gold on the basis of count back after having the same number of perfect 10s (21) as Australia while Canada took the bronze with the least number of perfect 10s (14) among the three.
Tejaswini got the silver in women’s 50m Rifle Prone by scoring 594, one more than Johanne Brekke (Wales) who won the bronze.
In men’s 25m standard pistol, Jung (561) and Chaudhary (542) combined forces to secure the silver with 1,103, 13 behind gold medallists Singapore (Bin Gai and Lip Meng Poh). England Michael Gault and Iqbal Ubhi won the bronze with 1,098.
The shooting title won by Heena and Annu helped India create a new Games mark on the ninth day of competitions for the number of gold medals won in a single Commonwealth Games. India had returned home from the Manchester Games eight years ago with 30 gold medals.
It was also the 14th gold won by India in shooting. They have also won 10 silver and 3 bronze medals.
The three medals won today boosted India’s medal haul to 31 gold, 25 silver and 28 bronze, and kept them firmly in the second position ahead of third-placed England (28-49-36) and fourth-placed Canada (23-15-29).
Gagan Narang, already with four gold to his credit, will be gunning for his fifth today in the men’s 50m rifle prone pairs event with Hariom Singh.