Star marksman Abhinav Bindra stole the limelight by clinching a gold medal while unheralded teenager Malaika Goel bagged a silver as shooters added two more medals to India’s kitty on the second day of competitions in the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Friday.
The 31-year-old Bindra kept his nerve to take the honour in his favourite 10 m air rifle event with a final games record score of 205.3 to bring cheers for the Indian contingent.
The 16-year-old Malaika Goel gave India their first shooting medal with a silver in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event while favourite Heena Sidhu fell by the wayside at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre at Dundee.
With the addition of two more medals from the shooting ranges, India’s overall medals tally climbed to 9 after collecting seven medals on the opening day.
India were placed fourth on the medals table with a tally of 3 gold, 4 silver and two bronze behind toppers England (18), Australia (15) and Scotland (10).
It was Bindra’s first individual gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. He had won the pairs gold in Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006) and in front of the home crowd in New Delhi fours years ago.
In the women’s section, Goel shot an aggregate of 197.1 in the finals to finish second and grab her first senior international medal after a close fight for the gold on the opening day of shooting competitions.
Former world number one and a pre-competition favourite Heena Sindhu finished a disappointing seventh after topping the qualifications. She was the second shooter to be eliminated in the eight-women field in the final round.
The Indian men’s hockey team launched their campaign on a sluggish note as they toiled hard to register a 3-1 win over a lowly Wales in their opening Pool A match at the National Hockey Centre.
Ranked ninth in the world, India had to dig deep to overcome a resolute Wales defence and pocket full points.
India scored two goals through penalty corner conversions by V R Raghunath (20th minute) and Rupinder Pal Singh (42nd) before comeback man Girvinder Singh Chandi scored from a field effort in the 47th minute.
Wales’ lone goal was netted by Andrew Cornick in the 23rd minute from field play.
India will next play hosts Scotland tomorrow, while Wales will be up against world champions and reigning Commonwealth Games champions Australia.
Indian judokas failed to replicate their opening day performance with only Sunibala Huidrom managing to enter the bronze-medal contest in the women’s 70kg category.