Indian marksmen returned with a rich haul of five medals, including two gold through Rahi Sanorbat and Apurvi Chandela, from the shooting ranges to completely dominate the event so far in the 20th Commonwewalth Games in Glasgow on Saturday.
After Friday’s one gold and one silver, the Indians bagged two gold and three silver on Saturday to accumulate seven medals (3, 4, 0) from shooting so far.
India could not win a medal in only men’s and women’s skeet and newly introduced Queen’s Prize pairs and bagged at least a medal in all the five events held so far.
It was an all-Indian affair in the women’s 25m pistol event and Sanorbat beat Anisa Sayyed in the gold medal match 8-2 to cap a brilliant second day of shooting competitions at the Barry Buddon Centre at Dundee.
Australia’s Lalita Yauhleuskaya bagged the bronze medal. Earlier, 23-year-old Sanorbat and Sayyed, 33, finished first and second in the semifinals to set up an all-Indian final.
Sanorbat had won two gold medals in 2010 CWG in Delhi besides also becoming India’s first pistol shooter to win gold medal in World Cup, in South Korea, last year.
Sayyed had also won two gold medals in 2010 CWG. Young Rajasthan girl Apurvi, earlier, got India its second gold from the shooting range winning the 10m Air Rifle event today as compatriot Ayonika Paul boosted the medal tally with a silver.
Prakash Najappa had got a silver in the 10m Air Pistol event.
21-year-old Chandela led from the beginning to win the yellow metal with a score of 206.7 while Ayonika finished a creditable second with a score of 204.9. It was only fitting that the Jaipur girl, who started shooting only six years back after watching Abhinav Bindra get gold in the Beijing Olympics, won in the legendary shooter’s pet event.
Chandela, whose father has built a shooting range at home, trains under her uncle Hem Singh.
She was consistency personified throughout the event as she topped the qualifying rounds with a score of 415.6. Ayonika qualified with a fourth position.
In the main round, Chandela regularly scored between 10.2 to 10.7 as she always maintained atleast 1.5 points difference from his nearest rival.
Ayonika was not in medal contention till the first 10 shots but she was brilliant in the back 10 as she regularly fired 10.5 to 10.7 to improve her position.
Earlier, Nanjappa finished a heart-breaking second in men’s 10m Air Pistol to give India their third medal. Nanjappa, who won a bronze in the ISSF World Cup in South Korea last year, was leading at the end of the second series of the elimination stage but he apparently lost concentration and shot a disappointing 7.7 to hand the lead to eventual winner Daniel Repacholi of Australia.
Despite the setback in the sixth shot of the elimination stage, the 38-year-old Banglorean tried his best to catch up with the Australian but failed to do so in the end and had to settle with a silver at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre at Dundee.
Nanjappa later said it would have been better if he had won a gold.
“It was satisfactory, obviously it could have been better by winning the gold. It was a good feeling, but I am slightly disappointed, there is always a next time,” he said.
Asked about scoring the second maximum 10.9 score of the Games in the final (17th of the 20 shots of the day), Nanjappa said, “I knew I had to focus on my technique as I had a very poor score in the previous shot and I knew I had to improve my score to keep up with the competition.”
Asked about his Australian opponent Daniel Repacholi who won gold, he said, “He shot very well, but it was very close through the competition. I tried to focus on my own performance through the final and did not really concentrate on the other competitors.”
Sanorbat took revenge of her loss to Sayyed in the gold medal match at Delhi 2010 four years ago.
“In the last Commonwealth Games she (Sayyed) had the gold and I got silver, so this time it’s the other way around and it’s even nicer that both the medals went to India,” Sanorbat said after winning the gold.
“The approach of India to shooting has changed — we have Olympic medals as well as Commonwealth medals. We train in better venues, have good coaches and I think that reflects in our shooting,” she added.
Asked about her mental preparation, she said, “I’m sure about one thing, it’s better to shoot technically rather than emotionally. Every time.”
Sayyed said the inclement weather made the competition difficult.
“Conditions were quite difficult. The rain made it darker and I had to change the filters of the glasses. When we had our practice sessions there was no rain but, during the final, conditions changed and that made it harder,” she said.
She said she had mixed feelings after her performance.
“On the one hand I’m happy, but on the other, I’m not happy as I got two gold medals in Delhi 2010. Therefore today is not good, but life is good,” Sayyed said.
“I’m happy for Sanorbat today as the last time I got gold and she had silver. It’s not difficult to compete against a fellow Indian, it was good fun.”