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Rathore wins gold in double trap

Last updated on: March 23, 2006 16:59 IST

Rajyavaradan Singh Rathore earned sweet revenge over his former coach, Russell Mark of Australia, to retain the gold in the individual double Trap Shooting event at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on Thursday.

The Olympics silver medallist Indian armyman, who lost the team gold to Mark and had to be content with a second place finish, fired 181 (137+44) to grab the honours at the Lilydale Ranges of the Melbourne Gun Club.

Rathore, who was languishing in third place in both the qualification and the final rounds, was patience personified as he peaked in time to clear any doubts about his abilities.

He was behind England's Stevan Walton (141) and William Chetcuti of Malta (139) in the qualifying round and trailed Byron Swanton (46) and Mark (44) in the final.

Walton picked the silver with a card of 180 and Chetcuti the bronze, firing 179.

Another Indian in the fray, Vikram Bhatnagar finished fourth.

There was pin drop silence in the arena, that had a large band of Rathore's supporters, every time he took aim.

And though he failed to bring down six birds, his efforts were enough to successfully defend his crown.

Knowing victory was his, he clinched fists and raised his Perazzi in triumph towards the sky with both hands.

Rathore said the targets were wavering, as a result of which he missed some shots but was looking for a turnaround.

"In my events, the field was tough. Including myself there were three Olympic champions vying for top honours. The target was also wavering a little bit. I missed a couple of shots because of that. I have been telling myself that it has to turnaround at some point of time," he said.

"I am happy that I lived up to the pressure of the sport and ultimately the reputation is kept in tact," he added.

Rathore said he wanted to give his best in the final.

"I had to live up to expectations and protect my country's reputation. You may fail, but one has to keep trying to do that," he said.

"My aim was to bring in my best effort in the final. I did that with great effort, forcing myself to bring the best out of me," the champion shooter said after the medal ceremony.

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