Abhinav Bindra bids CWG adieu with gold, teenager Malaika Goel gets silver
Glasgow: It was a memorable swansong at the Commonwealth Games for Abhinav Bindra as the ace marksman bagged the 10m Air Rifle gold medal in a gripping finale with young schoolgirl Malaika Goel turning out to be surprise package winning silver in the 10m air pistol event.
After a cracking opening day where they bagged seven medals, it was a relatively quieter day for the Indians as they added a gold, silver and a bronze to their tally.
Apart from the two medals at the shooting range, India won a bronze in the weightlifting through 20-year-old Santoshi Matsa who finished third in the women`s 53 kg category.
India are currently placed fourth in the medals tally with three gold, four silver and three bronze medals behind England, Australia and Scotland.
The cynosure of the day certainly was the 31-year-old Bindra, who finally won an individual gold at the quadrennoal extravaganza which had eluded him on four previous attempts.
Bindra, who has already won nine medals including three gold in pairs events, was calmness personified as he did not put a foot wrong in the final round, having finishing third in the qualifications at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre,Dundee.
Bindra, first Indian Olympic individual gold medallist, shot an aggregate of 205.3 to set a Games Record.
"This is my last Commonwealth Games. Five CWG and nine medals, it is enough for me," Bindra said while speaking to Indian journalists.
"It was a well-earned medal because I work hard and I am happy to have achieved the feat. I got the desired result."
Asked if Rio 2016 would be his last Olympics, he said, "I will take on thing at a time. I will decide later."
He joked that after retirement he would take up journalism as career. "Journalism is an easy job, I may become a journalist after my shooting career."
Bindra said he would now focus to the World Championships to be held in a few months time.
"I will relax a bit and then prepare for the World Cup," he said.
The 16-year-old Malaika gave India its first shooting medal with a score of 197.1 while favourite Heena Sidhu fell by the wayside at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre at Dundee.
India`s good show in the weightlifting arena continued as young Andhra girl Santoshi grabbed the bronze medal with a total lift of 188 kg in snatch and clean and jerk to get the bronze as 16-year-old Nigerian schoolgirl Chika Amalaha won the gold with a total lift of 196 kg.
India`s Swati Singh, who was placed third at the end of the snatch event finished fourth with 183 kg. It was second time that Swati missed out on a podium having finished fourth during the last edition in the last edition.
Santoshi tried a lift of 109 kg on the third clean and jerk attempt but failed. The successful attempt wouldn`t have ensured anything more than bronze though as both Amalaha and Toua went on to break the Games Record with a lift of 111 kg each in the clean and jerk section.
Swati, on her part, failed on two attempts to lift 103 kg and 106 kg respectively as she had to settle with a total score of 183 kg.
The Indian men`s hockey team launched their campaign on a sluggish note as they toiled hard to register a 3-1 win over a lowly Wales in their opening Pool A match at the National Hockey Centre.
Ranked ninth in the world, India had to dig deep to overcome a resolute Wales defence and pocket full points.
India scored two goals through penalty corner conversions by V R Raghunath (20th minute) and Rupinder Pal Singh (42nd) before comeback man Girvinder Singh Chandi scored from a field effort in the 47th minute.
Wales` lone goal was netted by Andrew Cornick in the 23rd minute from field play.
India will next play hosts Scotland tomorrow, while Wales will be up against world champions and reigning Commonwealth Games champions Australia.
Indian judokas failed to replicate their opening day performance with Sunibala Huidrom missing out on a bronze medal in the women`s 70 kg event losing to Sally Conway of Scotland.
Sunibala faced a tough test in the repechage contest but she managed to prevail over Monika Burgess of Canada in a battle that lasted for three minutes and 58 seconds to make the medal round.
However, it was curtains for Garima Choudhary in the women`s 63kg category after she went down fighting in her repechage round.
Garima, who was the only Indian judoka to have qualified for the London Olympics in 2012, lost to K J Yeats-Brown of England in the repechage. Yeats-Brown won on the basis of two Wazaris.
Indian men had a disappointing outing as both Balvinder Singh and V Vikender Singh lost in the round of 32 in 73kg and 81kg, respectively.
In swimming, Sandeep Sejwal finished a poor sixth in 100m breaststroke semi-final and finished a disappointing 12th among the 16 swimmers who qualified. Sejwal`s timing of :103.24 secs deteriorated from his timing in the heats which was 1:02.97 secs.
Indian paddlers continued their rampaging form as the men`s and women`s teams blanked Guyana and Kenya 3-0 respectively in the group stage of the table tennis team competition.
After thrashing Vanuatu 3-0 on the opening day, the Indian men`s team continued their good showing with Anthony Amalraj brushing aside Shamar Britton 11-4 11-3 11-3 to give his side an early lead.
Young Soumyajit Ghosh then beat Christopher Franklin 11-8 11-5 11-9 to make it 2-0 in India`s favour. Sanil Shankar Shetty and Amalraj then paired up to get the better of Paul David and Franklin 11-8 11-6 11-5 to complete the rout.
Indian squash star Joshna Chinappa suffered a 1-3 defeat against World No. 4 Joelle King of New Zealand in the round of 16 to crash out of the women`s singles competition.
However Dipika Pallikal stormed into the quarterfinal defeating Delia Arnold of Malaysia in three straight games 11-6 12-10 11-5. She will meet Alison Waters of England in the last eight clash.
Joshna, who won the Winnipeg Winter Open trophy -- her maiden WSA world title in February this year -- lost 3-11 8-11 11-8 5-11 against her third seeded opponent at the Scotstoun Campus.
Indian cyclists` dismal show continued at the Games as they failed to qualify for the finals of both Men`s 4000m Individual pursuit and Women`s 3000m Individual pursuit events.
In the men`s 62 kg weightlifting event, Rustam Sarang of India finished seventh with a total lift of 263 kg.
Talented pugilist Mandeep Jangra started his Commonwealth Games campaign in style defeating Mozambique`s Augusto Mathule in the 69 kg welterweight division bout here on Friday.
However Parveen Kumar of India lost to Corey Henderson of Scotland in the Superheavyweight (+91 kg) category to bow out.
Shiva Thapa (56 kg), Sumeet Sangwan (81 kg) and Amritpal Singh (91 kg) have all got byes in their respective categories and will now be directly fighting in the pre quarter-final bouts.
It was Jangra, who dominated the proceedings from the start as his opponent didn`t have any answer to some of his deft hooks and uppercuts. In fact, Jangra followed his opponent effecting a knock down.
He got a perfect 10 from all three judges in the first and third round while he got 29 in round two. He was severe in the final round landing some straight punches which totally caught his rival unawares.
Jangra will next fight Jamaican boxer Kestina Davis in the round of 16 bout.
In the +91 kg bout, Parveen was no match for Henderson, who was buoyed by the local support as he landed some crushing punches which the Indian boxer failed to evade.
All three judges gave perfect 10 to Henderson in the first two rounds while the Scottish boxer managed 29 from round three. The Indian could manage only 28, 27 and 27 from his three rounds.