Shooters, wrestlers inspire India`s medal rush in Commonwealth Games
Glasgow: Shooters and wrestlers put on a stunning show as India grabbed nine medals, including three gold medals, in what was their best show so far in the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Tuesday.
Sushil Kumar led the charge as Indian wrestlers winning three of the five gold medals on offer at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC). Amit Kumar and teenager Vinesh Phogat also bagged gold medals while Rajeev Tomar settled for the silver medal. The three gold medals also lifted India to fifth position in the medal`s standings.
Trigger happy Indian shooters also had a gala outing as they brought home five more medals -- two silvers and three bronzes -- from their respective events with the gold remaining elusive.
Harpreet Singh and Sanjeev Rajput clinched silvers in the men`s 25 metre rapid fire pistol and men`s 50m rifle 3 positions events, Manavjit Sandhu (men`s trap), Gagan Narang (men`s 50m rifle 3 positions) and Lajja Gauswami (women`s 50m rifle 3 positions) brought in the bronzes.
In total, Indian shooters have accounted for four golds, nine silvers and four bronzes from the Glasgow Games.
The star of the day undoubtedly was two-time Olympic medallist Sushil, who just took 107 minutes to clinch the gold medal in the men`s 74kg freestyle category beating Pakistan`s Qamar Abbas in an one-sided affair.
It was Sushil`s first major international medal after his pet 66kg category was removed and he had to add nine kilogrammes to adjust in a new weight bracket. Sushil had won both his Olympic medals, bronze in Beijing and silver in London, 2010 World Championship gold, 2010 Asian Games gold and the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold in the 66kg category.
Sushil was leading 6-2 in the first period when referee V. Keelan decided to give it in favour of the Indian, who managed to pin down Abbas.
It was the third gold for India after Amit and Vinesh`s triumph in their respective categories.
Amit won the gold medal in the men`s freestyle 57kg category beating Nigerian Ebikweminomo Welson. Amit won the bout 3-1 on classification points. Amit won six points in the two periods while Welson got two.
Indian teenager Vinesh then made it a double delight as she registered a thrilling 11-8 win over England`s Yana Rattigan to clinch the gold medal in the women`s freestyle 48kg wrestling competition.
The only relative disappointment for India was that of Tomar losing the men`s 125kg freestyle final match to Canada`s Korey Jarvis. In a close contest, Tomar lost 0-3 to Jarvis and settled for the silver.
Tomar had defeated New Zealand`s Marcus Carney in the semi-final and Nigerian Sinivie Boltic in the quarters.
Another Indian in fray, Jyoti finished fourth in the women`s 75kg freestyle event. Since there were just five wrestlers, the competition was held according to the Nordic System or a round robin format.
The first medal of the day came from Harpreet, who clinched the men`s 25m rapid fire pistol silver.
Australian David Chapman won the gold in style, setting a new Finals Games Record (FGR) with a score of 23. England`s Kristian Callaghan clinched the bronze with 17 at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre.
This is Harpreet`s third medal at the Commonwealth Games. The 33-year-old Karnal-born had also won two golds in the 2010 Delhi Games in 25m centre fire pistol -- in pairs and individual events.
However, earlier Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar failed to qualify for the finals in the same category.
Soon after, former World Champion Sandhu clinched the men`s trap bronze by defeating Australia`s two-time Olympic champion Michael Diamond in the bronze medal playoff.
The 37-year-old Sandhu, a former World No.1, beat five-time CWG gold medallist Diamond in a shoot-off after both were tied at 11 points each in the playoff, clinching India`s second medal Tuesday.
Diamond`s compatriot Adam Vella beat England`s Aaron Heading in the gold medal contest, bagging 11 points to Heading`s 9.
The medal rush continued when Rajput and Narang clinched the silver and bronze, respectively, in the men`s 50m rifle 3 positions final.
England`s Daniel Rivers won the gold in fantastic fashion with a new Finals Games Record (FGR) at 452.9 points. This is River`s second medal at the 2014 Games after taking home the bronze in the men`s 10m air rifle event.
Rajput and Narang finished with scores of 446.9 and 436.8 points, respectively.
This is Narang`s 10th medal in the Commonwealth Games and his first bronze. The 31-year-old won four golds in 2006 Melbourne, four more golds in 2010 at home in Delhi and the men`s 50m rifle prone silver Monday.
To cap it up, Lajja Gauswami scalped the women`s 50m rifle 3 positions bronze. Singapore`s Jasmine Ser won the gold with a new Finals Games Record (FGR) at 449.1 points. Scottish Jen McIntosh claimed the silver with 446.6 while Lajja ended with 436.1.
Elsewhere, Indian athlete Ashwini Akkunji failed to qualify for the women`s 400 metres hurdles final while in boxing L. Sarita Devi won her women`s 57-60 kg opening bout to proceed to the quarterfinals. But it was the end of the road for men`s 64 kg defending champion Manoj Kumar who was ousted from the quarterfinals 0:3 by England`s Samuel Maxwell.
The Sardar Singh-led Indian men`s hockey team gave a tough fight to reigning World Champions Australia in their third and penultimate Pool A match but eventually went down 2-4 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.