Glasgow: Star marksman Abhinav Bindra stole the limelight by clinching a gold medal while unheralded teenager Malaika Goel bagged a silver as shooters added two more medals to India’s kitty on the second day of competitions in the 20th Commonwealth Games here today.
The 31-year-old Bindra kept his nerve to take the honour in his favourite 10 m air rifle event with a final games record score of 205.3 to bring cheers for the Indian contingent.
The 16-year-old Malaika Goel gave India their first shooting medal with a silver in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event while favourite Heena Sidhu fell by the wayside at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre at Dundee.
With the addition of two more medals from the shooting ranges, India’s overall medals tally climbed to 9 after collecting seven medals on the opening day.
India were placed fourth on the medals table with a tally of 3 gold, 4 silver and two bronze behind toppers England (18), Australia (15) and Scotland (10).
It was Bindra’s first individual gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. He had won the pairs gold in Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006) and in front of the home crowd in New Delhi fours years ago.
In the women’s section, Goel shot an aggregate of 197.1 in the finals to finish second and grab her first senior international medal after a close fight for the gold on the opening day of shooting competitions.
Former world number one and a pre-competition favourite Heena Sindhu finished a disappointing seventh after topping the qualifications. She was the second shooter to be eliminated in the eight-women field in the final round.
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 only Sunibala Huidrom managing to enter the bronze-medal contest in the women’s 70kg category.
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.
She will now fight for the bronze medal with Scotland’s Sally Conway later in the day.
However, it was curtains for Garima Choudhary in the women’s 63kg category after she went down fighting in her repechage round.
Earlier in the day, Sunibala got the better of Australia’s Catherine Arscott in the quarterfinals in another tough four-minute contest, while it took her just 53 seconds to beat Memory Zikhale of Botswana in her round of 16 bout, as she got a couple of Wazaris, which is equivalent to an ‘Ippon’ that finishes a contest.
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 became the first Indian swimmer to clear the qualification round and make it to the semifinals of the men’s 100m breaststroke event.
Sejwal finished 12th overall after clocking 1:02.97 seconds in the heat to advance to the next round. A total of 16 swimmers qualified for the semifinal stage of the competition at the Tollcross Swimming Centre.
Sejwal came fourth in heat number three but 12th overall in a field of 34 swimmers.
However, India failed to make the main round of men’s 200m freestyle event, as Sajan Prakash finished a lowly 22nd in the qualification.
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.
The 27-year-old from Chennai, 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.