The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Five-gold haul boosts India tally

Hyderabad: Star shooter Anjali Bhagwat and long jumper Anju Bobby George excelled as India claimed five gold medals on Day 5 of the Afro-Asian Games to climb to fourth position on the medals table on Wednesday.

The athletes won a bulk of the medals ó eight, including three golds ó while the shooters captured two gold and two bronze medals on a highly rewarding day for the hosts.

India now have eight gold, 21 silver and 21 bronze medals. China stayed on top with a tally of 17-6-3. South Africa were second with 12-11-13 followed by Japan on 9-3-1.

Indiaís best day also witnessed former world champion and veteran sprinter Frankie Fredericks in action. The Namibian won the menís 200m gold in 20.57 seconds and anchored his team to gold in the 4x100m relay.

India not only had the most satisfying day since the Games began but also assured themselves of a few more medals with the tennis players including Mahesh Bhupathi, pugilists and the menís football team moving into the finals.

Anju, who recently won a bronze medal in the world championship in Paris, stole the limelight by clinching gold with an effort of 6.53m. J.J. Shobha in heptathlon and Anil Kumar in discus won the other gold medals.

Saraswati second

Saraswati Saha (200m), Jasmine Kaur (10,000m walk) and Arun DíSouza (3000m steeplechase) won silver medals. Soma Biswas (heptathlon), Jagdish Bishnoi (javelin) and the menís 4x100 relay team of C.T. Durai, Sandeep Sarkaria, Piyush Kumar and Sanjay Ghosh won bronze.

The shooting range also proved productive for India as Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Anjali won gold medals. Rathore tallied 174 points in menís double trap and teammate Ranjan Sodhi clinched the silver with 167.

Anjali, who won the silver in womenís 10m air rifle on Tuesday, won her first gold medal of the Games in the 50m rifle 3-position event with a total of 675.5 points. Kuheli Ganguly got the bronze with 669.7.

India have so far won three gold, six silver and two bronze medals in shooting.

Anjali, in second spot after the qualifying stage due to a poor kneeling round, found her rhythm in the final and scored 98.5 points. The silver went to Olga Dovgun of Kazakhstan.

Rathore was confident personified on his way to gold. He led the field of six, including three Indians, throughout. M. Nicholson of Zimbabwe won the bronze medal.

Asian Games champion Tan Zongliang of China won the menís 10m air pistol event with 693.8 points. Francois van Tonder (674.4) of South Africa won the silver and Namibiaís Friedhelm Sack (673.1) the bronze.

Things were not as good in swimming as Senthil Kumar won Indiaís lone medal, a bronze. Richa Mishra and Nisha Millet finished fourth in their respective events. Kumar finished a distant third in 100m backstroke at 1:02.04. Kumarís bronze took Indiaís medal haul from swimming to 16 with seven silver and nine bronze medals. Japan are way ahead with nine gold, three silver and one bronze medal.

Richa came close to a bronze in womenís 100m butterfly, but lost out to Luisa Gavazzi over the last 30 metres. Nisha suffered the same fate in 100m backstroke as she squandered an early lead.

Indians performed poorly in the other events. Akbar Ali Mir (menís 100m butterfly), Deepak Singh (menís 50m backstroke) and D. Mridula (womenís 50m backstroke) all finished fifth.

There wasnít much to cheer for India in weightlifting too as one bronze was all that they got. P. Harita got the medal in the womenís 63kg category, which had just three competitors.

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