The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 29 , 2014
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Jitu Rai adds to gold kitty

- Pugilist Vijender Singh enters quarters in style
Jitu Rai (right) and Gurpal Singh celebrate after winning gold and silver medals, respectively, in 50m pistol, in Glasgow, on Monday. (PTI)

Glasgow: Jitu Rai clinched a gold medal, as Gagan Narang and Gurpal Singh claimed a silver each to continue the shooters’ heroics in the 20th Commonwealth Games here on Monday.

Vijender Singh led the charge in boxing, by advancing to the quarter finals on the fifth day of competition here.

With the addition of these three medals, India’s overall haul swelled to 25 with seven gold, 11 silver and seven bronze medals, with a fourth place in the medal standings.

Narayan in final

In athletics, C Narayan Singh qualified for the finals of the men’s hammer throw event, even as Kamalpreet Singh crashed out in the qualifying round. The 23-year-old Narayan threw the hammer to a distance of 67.95 in his first attempt, which proved to be his best and enough to make it to the 12-man final.

Kamalpreet, competing in the other group, finished sixth with his best throw of 65.25m, which came in his first attempt. He managed 62.90m and 63.67m in his next two attempts.

Blanked out

India drew a blank in the badminton mixed team event, after going down fighting to Singapore 2-3 in the bronze medal play-off.

Despite star attraction Saina Nehwal’s pull out from the Games in the last minute, there were high expectations from P V Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and the reigning Commonwealth women’s doubles champion pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa.

But the team failed to deliver when it mattered most to return empty handed from the mixed team event.

India had lost to 2010 Delhi Games bronze medallist England 0-3 in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Pugilists shine

Vijender (75kg) continued his sublime form to enter the quarter finals in boxing, along with gritty youngster L Devendro Singh (49kg). But there was heartbreak for Shiva Thapa (56kg), who went down to Olympic bronze-medallist Michael Conlan of Northern Ireland.

Vijender, a former Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist, outpunched Namibia’s Mujandjae Kasuto 3-0 in a lopsided contest to make the last-eight stage.

Such was the former world No. 1’s domination that he managed a perfect 10 from every judge in each of the three rounds.

Vijender will face Trinidad and Tobago’s Aaron Prince in the quarters.

Earlier, Devendro (49kg) advanced to the quarter-finals with a hard-fought win. Asian Championships silver-medallist Devendro advanced after a tough 2-1 victory over Sri Lanka’s Madushan Gamage.

The Indian started off confidently, getting a perfect 10 score from all three judges in the opening three minutes. However, in the next round, Devendro, who looks to drain his opponents with a flurry of punches, was left surprised when Gamage came back strongly to clinch it 29-28.

However, the Indian youngster muzzled the challenge in the deciding three minutes, snatching it 30-28 to be just one more win away from assuring himself of a medal in his debut Commonwealth Games. The 22-year-old Manipuri will face Scotland’s Aqeel Ahmed.

Thumping win

A dominant women’s hockey team annihilated Trinidad and Tobago 14-0.

In a completely lop-sided match, India made mincemeat of the Caribbean nation as they smashed as many as nine goals in the first half itself, before pumping in five more after the breather.

Shooters dominate

The 26-year-old Rai, world No. 4, won the men’s 50 m pistol event as India continued to dominate the ranges. Gurpal Singh was also in the spotlight with his silver-winning effort in the same event, while Narang, taking part for the first time in the 50 m rifle prone event, had to be content with a silver.

Rai shot 194.1 to bag his first Commonwealth Games gold on debut, while Gurpal had an aggregate of 187.2 to win the silver, in his first international medal. Australia’s Daniel Repacholi was third.

With the three medals, India's medal tally from the Barry Buddon Shooting Center has shot up to 12 (4, 7, 1), three more than England who have eight, including three gold medals.

Nepal-born Rai, who won a gold (in 10m air pistol) and a silver (in 50m pistol) in the World Cup last month, was third in the first series but then recovered quickly and then never looked back.

There was, however, disappointment in women’s 50-metre rifle prone event as Meena Kumari and Lajja Gauswami finished a disappointing sixth and 11th, respectively, in the finals.

Narang, who has won four medals each in both the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games, lost the gold to Warren Potent of Australia by 0.7 points.

Narang collected 203.6 in the 20-shot final round, while Potent scored 204.3. Kenneth Parr of England bagged the bronze.

This is Narang’s first Commonwealth Games medal in his debut in 50m rifle prone. Narang, who won a bronze in men’s 10m air rifle in the 2012 London Olympics, will also take part in men’s 50m rifle 3 position event on Tuesday.

Narang still has a chance to become only the third shooter to win nine gold medals in Commonwealth Games. India’s Jaspal Rana and England’s Michael Gault share the feat.

Saurav loses

India’s wait for the first squash medal at the Commonwealth Games was prolonged on Monday, as Saurav Ghosal lost to England’s Peter Barker in the bronze medal playoff.

World No.16 Ghosal needed to come up with something special for his first win over his eighth-ranked opponent. The Indian went down 5-11, 11-6, 5-11, 6-11.

Paddlers fail

Indian men’s table tennis team failed to secure a medal for the first time at the Games, after being stunned 1-3 by Nigeria in the bronze medal play-off, at the Scotstoun Sports Campus here.