Indians make merry

Of the 13 golds on offer in the shooting competitions, a dozen went to the host continent, while the lone medal for Africa was taken by South Africa's Jaco Henn.

A. JOSEPH ANTONY

Major Rajyavardhan Rathore clinched the gold in the double trap event while his compatriot Ronjan Sondhi took the silver. -- Pic. K. R. DEEPAK-

Of the 13 golds on offer in the shooting competitions, a dozen went to the host continent, while the lone medal for Africa was taken by South Africa's Jaco Henn. Olga Dovogun's world record of 600/600 in the women's 50 m prone rifle event was established at the University of Hyderabad range. Sadly the feat will not go down in the record books of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), since the said body had not accorded recognition to the Afro-Asian Games.

Most of the African competitors were from South Africa and Egypt with some others from Namibia and Zimbabwe. As is common with visiting teams, there was much cheer when one of the shooters from Africa landed a medal or even had an impressive score. While they were not exactly wallowing in the wealth of achievement, most of them took part wholeheartedly and gave it their best shot.

Gagan Narang won the men's 10-metre air rifle event. -- Pic. K. R. DEEPAK-

China, with five golds itself, was way above the competition. Most of its shooters kept a very low profile. They talked little maybe because of their lack of fluency in English and observed much. Even when they triumphed, there was little fist-pumping or yelps of delight.

The most expressive of the lot could have been Ying Chen, winner of the women's 10 metres air pistol event. She smiled easily and had enough reason to reveal her perfect set of teeth.

She had outshone world No. 10, Otry Ad Gundegmaa of Mongolia and Kazakhistan's Juliya Bondoreva, ranked 23 in the world.

Anjali Bhagwat completed the golden treble by topping the women's three position rifle competition. -- Pic. K. R. DEEPAK-

For the host nation's marksmen, the haul of medals was an enviable one — three golds, six silvers and a bronze. Gagan Narang set the pace, winning the men's 10 metre air rifle event. The Hyderabad lad kept his cool in the last round to fire a superlative 10.5 and separate himself from his nearest rival, Egypt's Ragai Emara by a solitary point.

Carrying the tricolour further was Major Rajyavardhan Rathore, who clinched gold in the double trap event, compatriot Ronjan Sondhi following not far behind for the silver.

Foxed by the trick of the light for a while, the crack shot adapted himself well to the fickle weather and emerged undisputed champ from a field that hardly broke a sweat in him.

Anjali Bhagwat completed the golden treble by topping the women's three position rifle competition. Not exactly her pet event, she nonetheless gave it her best and came out trumps. Kuheli Gangulee's bronze was a bonus, the high point of her effort being a perfect 10.9 she scored in the sixth shot of the final series.

The results: Men:

10m air rifle: 1. Gagan Narang 695. 7 (Ind), 2. Ragai Emara 694.3 (Egy), 3. Mohd. Ismail 694 (Egy).

50m pistol: 1. Tan Zongliang 667.6 (Chi), 2. Samaresh Jung 641 (Ind), 3. Francois Van Tonder 640 (SA).

25m centre fire pistol: 1. Nguyen Manh Tuong 584 (Viet), 2. Park Byung Taek 583 (Kor), 3. Lee Sang Hak 580 (Kor).

50m rifle prone: 1. Jaco Henn 694.3 (SA), 2. Weiyi Wang 694.1 (Chi), 3. Fred Senore (SA) 693.4.

Trap (tie-break scores in brackets): 1. Li Hui 141 (7) (Chi), 2. Manavjit Singh Sandhu 141 (6) (Ind), 3. Anwer Sultan 141 (4) (Ind).

25m standard pistol: 1. Park Byung Taek 578 (Kor), 2. Jaspal Rana 574 (Ind), 3. Liu Guohui 570 (Chi).

10m air pistol: 1. Tan Zongliang 693.8 (Chi), 2. Van Tonder 674.4 (SA), 3. Friedhelm Sack 673.1 (Nam).

Double trap: 1. Rajyavardhan Rathore 174 (Ind), 2. Ronjan Sondhi 167 (Ind), 3. Michael Nicholson (Zim) 162.

50m rifle three position: Qiu Jian 1267.6 (Chi), 2. Vyacheslav Skoromnov 1259 (Uzb), 3. Jin Nam Hyung (Kor) 1241.2.

25m rapid fire pistol: 1. Hak Lee Sang 677.3 (Kor), 2. Ji Haiping 671.6 (Chi), 3. Liu Guohui (Chi) 670.7.

Women:

50m prone rifle: 1. Olga Dovogun 600 (Kaz), 2. Deepali Desphande 588 (Ind), 3. Hyun Ah Kong (Kor) 587.

10m air rifle: 1. Park Un Kyong 498.6 (Kor), 2. Anjali Bhagwat 497.2 (Ind), 3. Sununtha Kuntapong 497 (Tha).

50m rifle three position: 1. Anjali Bhagwat 675.5 (Ind), 2. Olga Dovgun 675.3 (Kaz), 3. Kuheli Gangulee 669.7 (Ind).

10m air pistol: 1. Ying Chen 486 (Chi), 2. Juliya Bondareva 476 (Kaz), 3. Otry Ad Gundegmaa (Mon) 474.