Golden hat-trick for India
28 July 2002
India’s stars shone bright on Bisley’s busiest day, when they won three of the seven gold medals on offer.
All eyes on the clay range were on the Anglo-Australian duel in the men’s double trap pairs between Michael Diamond/Russell Mark (AUS) and Richard Faulds/John Bellamy (ENG). But it was the Indian pairing of Rajyavadhan Singh – known to his friends as ‘Chilly’ – and Ali Khan Moraad, who came through to blunt the attack, taking gold in the men’s double trap pairs on countback ahead of Australia and England respectively.
In the 50m Pistol Pairs, the spoils again fell to India, when Samaresh Jung and Vivek Singh surprised themselves by taking the gold. David Moore and Bruce Quick (AUS) took silver, Quick finishing his round despite enduring a sore back and feet in a two-hour slog.
Francois Van Tonder and Frederik Van Tonder, who both work for the South African military, earned bronze. Although they are not related, the two are sergeants in their respective services.
There was yet more Indian gold in the women’s 10m air rifle pairs for Anjali Bhagwat (IND) and Suma Shirur (IND). Bhagwat overcame the difficulties she’d had stabilising her rifle in practice, and her competition included two maximum scores to set the team up for a new Commonwealth Games record.
Defending champion Sharon Bowes (CAN) shot a new personal best but the Indian’s strength meant it was only enough to secure second on the podium for her and 17-year-old Jacklyn Mecredy. Bronze was taken by England’s Louise Minett, matching her medal from Kuala Lumpur, and her partner Victoria Eaton also shot well, despite enduring gun problems earlier in the week.
In the other air gun competition, the women’s 10m air pistol pairs, Canada were valiant, with Kim Eagles underpinning Dorothy Hare’s equal top score of 378 to claim gold.
For Hare it was a family affair, with father-cum-coach Bill watching anxiously. Although the 1974 Commonwealth Games pistol champion himself, she’s banned him from talking to her during matches. Mum was watching on television back home in Alberta and Hare was soon on the phone after her victory to spread the good news.
Shelia Kanungo (IND) shot solidly, despite a very late entry approval, bolstering the score of teammate Shweta Chaudary (IND). Schoolgirl Chaudary was inconsolable after she felt she’d cost her country the title, but silver was not a bad return.
The range held its breath as Anne Marie Forder (AUS) needed to score 93 in her final series to take gold, but she was off-centre with four shots in the last string of ten.
While not her speciality, Tina Borrell (NZL) hooked up with Nadine Stanton (NZL) to take women’s double trap gold by a solitary target from the Canadian duo of Cynthia Meyer and six-times world women’s trap champion Susan Nattrass. Suzanne Balogh and Suzie Trindall (AUS) returned bronze to complement their male counterparts’ silver.
England dominated the men’s 50m prone rifle, in which Michael Babb’s 598ex-600 broke the range record. Together with Neil Day (ENG), the pair equalled the Commonwealth Games record, set by South Africans Michael Thiele and Gavin van Rhyn four years ago. Thiele, this year partnering Jaco Henn (RSA), was nudged into silver position, while Malaysia’s Erman Zakaria and Sabki Din took bronze, Zakaria adding to his silver from the 10m air rifle pairs the previous day.
Northern Ireland’s first gold of the Commonwealth Games was returned by full bore rifle defending champions David Calvert (NIR) and Martin Millar (NIR). For Calvert, it was a third gold medal in a double-decade association with the Games.
Peter Bramley and David Dodds (RSA) took silver to add their compatriots’ bronze in the 50m Pistol. Dodds learnt his shooting craft while a schoolboy in England at Greshams School, Norfolk and was once an under-19 Great Britain team member.
Despite being ahead at the halfway stage, the English team of Jane Messer and Glyn Barnett struggled with the wind at the longer distances, dropping down to bronze.
Info News Service/ws/sdb