India’s gold rush has begun at the Commonwealth Games with shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang winning the country’s first top medal in the 10-meter air rifle pairs event Tuesday, the second day of competition in New Delhi.
Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra won the first top medal in the 10-meter air rifle pairs event on the second day of the Commonwealth Games Tuesday.
Minutes later, another gold medal was clinched by Anisa Syyed and Rahi Sarnobat, who won in the 25-meter standard pistol pairs. Shooters Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh also won silver in the 50-meter pistol.
Meriting his carrying of the Indian flag at the opening ceremony Sunday, Olympic gold medalist Mr. Bindra scored 595; world champion Mr. Narang scored 598.
The pair together scored 1193 to break their own record, set four years ago at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
“I feel proud being part of this historical moment; we both shot well today,” Mr. Bindra told television news channels immediately after the win.
Mr. Bindra admitted it was “very tough” since shooting is an internal sport and “all eyes were fixed on us.”
“The Games belong to the athletes and athletes will definitely perform,” he said.
Mr. Bindra’s father, A.S. Bindra, said on television: “I’m glad Abhinav has made the country proud.”
Chief shooting coach Sunny Thomas congratulated all winners: “Many thought I am a dictator since I imposed restrictions on the shooters prior to the Games. But whatever I was doing, I was doing for the country. And we have been rewarded remarkably.”
Presently, India tops the medal tally overall with seven medals after it won four medals, including two bronze and two silver, in weightlifting Monday. Australia and England follow with six medals each so far.
India also hopes to improve its position in the medals’ scoreboard through wrestling even though four top wrestlers were dropped from the Commonwealth Games squad after doping violations. All eyes will be on Olympic bronze medalist Sushil Kumar who became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Wrestling Championship in Moscow in September.
Tennis duo Leander Paes and Sania Mirza also reached the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles after beating St. Lucia’s Stacey Nykita Roheman and Alberton Richelieu.