The mother of all shooting duels at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here didn’t really materialise on expected lines as Gagan Narang stormed his way to a gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle singles event, leaving Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra in his wake on Wednesday.Anisa Sayyed and Rahi Sarnobat repeated the gold-silver feat of their much more illustrious counterparts in the women’s 25m sports pistol event, while Omkar Singh brought India its third gold medal of the day in the men’s 50m free pistol event.In between, favourites Ronjan Sodhi and Asher Noria slipped up and had to settle for silver behind England in the first shotgun event – the men’s double trap pairs. Narang shot 600/600 in the qualification round, which would have equalled his own world record, and then went on to score 103.6 points in the final to surpass his world record score of 703.5 established at the World Cup Finals in Bangkok in 2008.However, the new score is not expected to count as an official world record since, according to International Shooting Sports Federation rules, they can only be shot in Olympic Games, ISSF World Cups and World Championships, continental championships and continental games. The ISSF technical delegate at the competition said he would clarify the position with the top brass of the world body. But for Narang, it did not make an iota of difference, since the joy of beating his celebrated teammate and rival was overwhelming. As soon as he fired a 10.2 on his last shot, Bindra – who shot 103 in the final – came over to shake his hand, after which Narang lifted his rifle into the air and then kissed it. Narang played down the rivalry, saying their relationship was symbiotic. “When I was trying to get into shooting, I kept hearing a lot about Abhinav, who was already there.advertisementThere is a lot we can learn from each other. As for today, it feels special to shoot a 600 because it is a score you can’t shoot every day,” said the 27-year-old Hyderabadi. Bindra, meanwhile, feels Narang can replace him as an Olympic champion. “He is outstanding, one of the best in the world. I am sure he’ll win more international tournaments, the World Championship and an Olympic gold medal,” the 28-year-old said. On the other hand, Anisa broke the Final Games Record of 781.5 by shooting 786.8 to comfortably outclass the rest of the field.The 29-year-old led the field in the qualification round with 583 points, before coming up with a remarkable 203.8 in the final for the gold. Rahi, who specialises in the duelling round that makes up the final, was four points adrift of Malaysia’s Pei Chin Bibiana Ng heading into the decider, but shot a mind-boggling 205 to clinch silver. In the final event of the day, Omkar, who was trailing Singapore’s Bin Gai by just one point going into the final, shot six 10-plus scores en route to a score of 653.6 to emerge four points clear. Hon Swee Lim, also of Singapore, took bronze.With such a rich haul, it would be difficult to find disappointment in the Indian ranks, but that’s what affected the double trap shooters. Eighteen-yearold Noria shot a steady 93 in his first senior competition with the national team, but world record-holder Sodhi, who shot down his first 71 birds across two rounds, suffered a meltdown thereafter to end up with a total of 95. English pair Stevan Walton (96) and Steven Scott (93) capitalized on it, setting a new CWG record of 189. Malaysia’s Bejamin Cheng Jie Khor and Seng Chye Khor got the bronze medal. The event was also marked by an interruption where the flash from a photographer’s camera distracted a Singapore shooter. Sodhi, who was next up, was stopped from shooting by the referee in order to rebuke the photographer, and that seemed to distract him. He, however, refused to blame the incident. “If you see my score, I haven’t shot that bad. But I should have done much better with the start I had. I lost my concentration, but I won’t make the excuse of that incident,” Sodhi said-
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