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Pistol Shooting Pair Heena And Annu Help India To New High

New Delhi, Oct 12: Women pistol shooters Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh grabbed a record 31st gold for India but star marksman Gagan Narang fell out of medal bracket for the first time and
PTI October 12, 2010 21:48 IST
New Delhi, Oct 12: Women pistol shooters Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh grabbed a record 31st gold for India but star marksman Gagan Narang fell out of medal bracket for the first time and failed to equal compatriot Samresh Jung's five-gold feat in the Commonwealth Games today.  

On the ninth day of the Games, that close on October 14, a second dope scandal surfaced in as many days to spoil the feel-good factor when Nigerian high hurdler Samuel Okon tested positive for banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine.  

The Dr Karni Singh shooting range continued to be India's best medal harvesting arena when Heena and Annu triumphed in the women's 10m air pistol pairs event.  

The shooting title won by Heena and Annu helped India create a new Games mark for the number of gold medals won in a single Commonwealth Games, bettering the 30 gold haul from the Manchester Games eight years.  

'Goldfinger' Jung, who grabbed five gold in 2006 at Melbourne, combined with Chandrasekhar Kumar Chaudhary to win silver in men's 25-metre standard pistol pairs.

World champion Tejaswini Sawant added to the tally when she came up with her best showing in this edition to grab the silver in women's 50m prone but Narang flopped in 50-metre rifle prone pairs event by ending up fifth with partner Hariom Singh.  

But the Games continued to be rocked by dope scandals for the second day running when men's 110m hurdler Okon tested positive for the same banned stimulant that was detected in his compatriot and women's 100m winner Osayemi Oludamola's system.  

"We have had a second anti doping violation. Nigeria's Samuel Okon, a 110m hurdler, has tested positive for the same Methylhexaneamine substance," said CGF president Mike Fennell at his customary morning press conference here.  

Yesterday the fastest woman of the Games Osayemi was declared to have taken the same banned stimulant and the decision on her B sample, which is being tested, is expected only tomorrow. Pending the result, she remained provisionally suspended by the CGF.  

"It's (Methylhexaneamine) a stimulant and in accordance with our anti doping standard, we have notified the athlete. We will have a provisional hearing later today," said Fennell about the second positive dope test.  

In shooting, Heena and Annu claimed the women's 10m air pistol gold after some tense moments as both Australia and Canada competed on even keel.  

After the final round, the three teams were tied on 759 points. There was more drama on cards as India and Australia shot 21 perfect 10s in the shoot-off but the hosts were adjudged winners on count-backs. Canada took the bronze, shooting 14 perfect 10s.   

It was also the 14th gold won by India in shooting.  

Tejaswini got the silver in women's 50m Rifle Prone by scoring 594, one more than Johanne Brekke (Wales) who won the bronze.  

"I was not competing against anybody. I was only competing with myself and my own score. I am fairly satisfied with my showing. I tried my level best but I could not get gold," Tejaswini said after winning her second silver medal in the Games.  

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.  

But ace shooter Narang, already with four gold to his credit, finished a disappointing fifth in 50-metre rifle prone pairs event partnering Hariom Singh.  

Gagan was the second best individual scorer with 593 but his partner Hariom, suffering from bouts of viral fever with temperature hovering around 100, found it difficult to compete in the star-studded field.  

Gagan has got the individual event tomorrow to catch up with Jung and become the new "Goldfinger".  

Scottish duo of Neil Stirton (592) and Jonathan Hammond (589) clinched the gold with a total of 1181.  

England's Mike Babb (591) and Richard Wilson (587) bagged the silver, Aussie duo of Warren Potent, who shot the best individual score of 594, and David Clifton (580) took the bronze.  

With today's haul of one gold and two silver, the Indian shooting contingent has exceeded their Melbourne tally (27 medals) and have three more events remaining.  

Soumyadeep Roy quelled some stiff challenge before overcoming Singapore's Xiaoli Cai 4-1 to storm into the men's singles semifinals of the table tennis competition.  

In the semifinal, Roy will take on world number 17, Gao Ning, who beat another Indian A Amalraj 4-1 in another match.  

India's experienced women pair of Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das entered the women's doubles semi finals by overcoming Australian pair M Miao and J F Lay 3-2.  

But it was curtains for another Indian pair, Shamini Kumaresan and Madhurika Patkar, who lost 1-3 to T Feng and Y Wang of Singapore.  

In men's doubles, Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal and former national champion Subhajit Saha also got the ticket to last four stage after beating Nigeria's Aruna Akinade and A seun 3-1.  

Another Indian pair of Amalraj and Roy, however, could not cross the quarterfinal hurdle and went down 0-3 to Singaporean duo of Gao and Zi Yang at the Yamuna Sports Complex.  

India's challenge in women's singles and mixed doubles categories have already ended.  

The meagre medal haul, however, was enough to help India retain their second spot behind Australia with 31 gold, 25 silver and 28 bronze and ahead of third-placed England (28-50-36). PTI