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Rediff.com  » Sports » India at CWG: Shooters Jitu Rai, Narang shine on Day 5

India at CWG: Shooters Jitu Rai, Narang shine on Day 5

Last updated on: July 29, 2014 07:54 IST

Before coming here, I knew I would win a gold: Jitu Rai

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India's Jitu Rai, who won his first Commonwealth Games gold on his debut on Monday, revealed he was confident of winning the yellow metal even before he landed in Glasgow.

"I have gold and silver in the World Cup and the field here was not strong. So before coming here, I knew that I would win a gold. I am happy that I have won gold in the Commonwealth Games too," said Rai, who is now with the 11 Gorkha Regiment at Mhow.

"I was never nervous and I took it easy. My planning while in India was to take it easy," he added.

Rai, born in Nepal's Sankhuwasabha district, migrated to India and joined the Army in 2006.

Last month he became the first Indian to win two medals in a single World Cup competition, even before he completed two years in the international circuit.

"I am feeling really happy to have added a Commonwealth Games gold in my career. It is just an immense feeling. I'm very happy with this, my first gold medal. I was expecting this result since I have done well in the World Cup," he said.

Jitu said he relaxed a bit towards the end having taken a huge lead.

"I was going well and I just wanted to be calm throughout. The more calm I was the better it would be for me and in the end there was no tension or pressure at all. I was pushing ahead in the first few rounds and I was ahead. I took a huge lead and I took it a bit easy towards the end. But it did not matter in the end," he said.

Rai praised the support he got from senior shooters and coaching staff for his achievements.

"I got encouragement from senior shooters but I owe my success to my coaches."

- Medals tally: 2014 Commonwealth Games

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Image: Jitu Rai celebrates after winning the gold medal at Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Photographs: PTI Photos

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I am not disappointed at all, a medal is a medal: Narang

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Gagan Narang might have failed to win a record-equalling nine gold medals in the Commonwealth Games after finishing second in the men's 50m rifle prone but the Indian star marksman said he is happy to clinch a silver in an event in which he was participating for the first time.

"I am not disappointed at all, a medal is a medal. I have bagged a medal which I have not won earlier. Rather I am happy that I have won a CWG medal in this event for the first time," Narang said after winning silver in 50m rifle prone, behind Warren Potent of Australia.

"This is not a popular event in terms of medals. It is an event in which India has not done very well and this is a new event for me too. The best an Indian has done in this event was a bronze in 2006 Melbourne [by Sanjiv Rajput]. So I am happy that I have done better by winning the silver," said the 31-year-old Indian, who won a bronze in 10m air rifle in 2012 London Olympics.

The ace shooter also failed to become the only three shooters to win nine gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, having bagged four each in both 2006 and 2010, but he would be gunning for
that achievement and join Michael Gault of England and another Indian Jaspal Rana in the nine-gold club when he takes the field in the 50m rifle 3 positions, on Tuesday.

"It is a good beginning to the Glasgow Games for me as I have won a silver. It was a fairly good performance from me and I am hoping for an even better show tomorrow," he said.

"My third CWG and nine medals so far, it has been a great journey and I am not disappointed in any way."

Asked if there was any flaw in his performance today, he pointed out to the 9.2 he shot in the third series (eighth shot).

"I saw the wind coming and I made a mistake there. That 9.2 shot cost me and had it been better than that I might have won the gold or the fight for the gold would have been even closer," he said.

- Medals tally: 2014 Commonwealth Games

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Image: Gagan Narang celebrates with the silver medal
Photographs: PTI Photos

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Resolute Vikas lifts silver

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Weightlifter Vikas Thakur showed tremendous grit as he fought back pain to clinch a silver.

Writhing in pain, Thakur produced the lift of his life to clinch the silver in men's 85kg weightlifting, as Indian lifters continued their spectacular show.

Thakur lifted 333kg (150+183) to bag the silver while Richard Patterson of New Zealand won the gold with a total lift of 335kg (151+184). Canada's Pascal Plamondon was third with 333kg (151+182), but Thakur bagged the silver on lesser bodyweight.

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Image: Vikas Thakur of India reacts after winning Silver in the mens 85kg weightlifting at the Clyde Auditorium during day five of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Photographs: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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Vijender, Devendro enter quarters, Shiva crashes out

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Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh (75kg) continued his sublime form to enter the quarter-finals along with gritty youngster Devendro Singh (49kg) but Asian champion Shiva Thapa crashed out, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, on Monday.

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.

The 28-year-old, who settled for a bronze in the previous edition of the Games, will now face Trinidad and Tobago's Aaron Prince.

Such was the former world number one's domination that he managed a perfect 10 score from every judge in each of the three rounds.

Earlier, Devendro (49kg) advanced to the quarters with a hard-fought win but Thapa (56kg) made a shocking early exit.

The Indian started off confidently, getting a perfect 10 score from all three judges in the opening three minutes. The next round was not as lopsided but Devendro, who tried to drain his opponent with a flurry of punches, was taken by surprise in the next round 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 and is now one win away from assuring himself of a medal in his debut at the Commonwealth Games.

The 22-year-old Manipur boxer will face Scotland's Aqeel Ahmed in the last-eight stage on July 30.

However, Thapa (56kg) went down to Olympic bronze-medallist Michael Conlan of Northern Ireland. The Assam boxer found the going tough against the crowd favourite despite the fact that Conlan had endured a cut on his head during his opening bout.

Conlan dominated the opening round, winning it 30-28. The second and third round were a tad closer but the Irishman held his own to outwit Shiva.

To add to his woes, Shiva also ended up getting warned for clinching and bending too much.

- Medals tally: 2014 Commonwealth Games

- Complete coverage of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

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Image: Devendro Singh Laishram of India
Photographs: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

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India draw blank in badminton

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Delhi Games silver medallists India drew a blank in the badminton mixed team event after going down fighting to Singapore 2-3 in the bronze medal play-off at the 20th Commonwealth Games.

Despite star attraction Saina Nehwal's pull out from the Games in the last minute, there were high expectations from Indian shuttlers especially with P V Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and reigining Commonwealth women's doubles champion pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa up their ranks.

But the Pullela Gopichand coached badminton contingent failed to deliver when it mattered most to return empty handed from the mixed team event.

It was not the best of starts to the bronze medal encounter for 10th ranked India, who lost to 2010 Delhi Games bronze medallist England 0-3 in the semi-finals on Sunday.

In the opening tie, makeshift mixed doubles pair of RMV Gurusaidutt and Ashwini Ponnappa fought hard before losing with an identical 19-21, 19-21 scoreline to Neo Vanessa and Danny Chrisnanta in 40 minutes to hand Singapore an early 1-0 lead.

- Medals tally: 2014 Commonwealth Games

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Image: R V Gurusaidutt (r) and Ashwini Ponnappa of India in action in thier mixed doubles match against Danny Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo of Singapore in the Mixed Team Bronze medal final
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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Kashyap too goods for Huang

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The onus was then on Kashyap to bring India level and he didn't disappoint. The 27-year-old Indian defeat Chao Huang 21-15, 22-20 in 37 minutes.

But 11th ranked Singapore restored their lead by winning the men's doubles contest as Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra lost in straight games against the pair of Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart 12-21, 16-21.

The responsibility was next put on world number 11 Sindhu to keep India afloat and she successfully fulfilled her duty by getting the better of Xiaoyu Liang 24-22, 21-13 in the women's singles rubber.

- Medals tally: 2014 Commonwealth Games

- Complete coverage of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

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Image: P Kashyap
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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Gutta-Ponnappa fought hard in the doubles

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With reigining Commonwealth Games champions Jwala and Ashwini left to take the courts, India were definitely touted as favourites by now to win the contest.

In the deciding women's doubles match, Jwala and Ashwini were up against Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, a pair whom the India duo defeated en route to their Commonwealth Games title four years ago in New Delhi.

But the script turned out to be different this time around as the Singaporean girls produced a gritty performance to upstage Jwala and Ashwini 21-17, 29-27 in a marathon 56-minute clash to avenge their defeat in the last edition of the Games.

- Medals tally: 2014 Commonwealth Games

- Complete coverage of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games


Image: Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta of India in action during their women's doubles match against Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore in the Mixed Team Bronze medal
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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