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Tejaswini settles for bronze

Kamesh Srinivasan


NEW DELHI: World champion Tejaswini Sawant was below her best, and the Indian team had to settle for the bronze, one point behind Scotland and England in the women's 50-metre rifle prone pairs event, in the Commonwealth Games on Monday.

It was the third time an Indian shooting team was beaten to the gold by such a narrow margin in the current edition of the Games, following the experience of trap and double trap teams.

The Indian duo of Tejaswini and Meena Kumari made 1168, as Scotland pipped England on the better count of inner 10s, after the two tied at 1169.

Plagued by a string of 9s that refused to leave her in peace, Tejaswini shot 583, a far cry from her world record equalling effort of 597 in the World championship in Munich recently. She even had an ‘8', apart from 15 nines.

Breeze plays havoc

The stiff breeze played havoc, and the seasoned Indian shooters were unable to retain their composure, after a good start, but did manage a strong finish which proved inadequate. Tejaswini had a series of 98, 100, 98, 94, 94 and 99. Meena had rounds of 98, 99, 98, 97, 94 and 99, for a better score of 585.

“I lost my rhythm. I delayed and made a mistake”, admitted Meena, understandably peeved to lose the gold by such a narrow margin, despite a poor performance.

Kay Copland came up with a gritty last series as the seconds ticked to the finish, to clinch the gold for Scotland, after team-mate Jan McIntosh had put the top score on the board at 591.

Michelle Smith of England finished her match in 20 minutes with a score of 590, and Sharon Lee benefited in her company with a 579.

There was only one more event at the Karni Singh shooting range in Tughlakabad, and the host finished fifth in the men's skeet pairs event, after briefly flirting with the hopes of a bronze.

While Cyprus was too good with World champion Georgios Achilleos shooting a perfect 100, a la Michael Diamond in trap, Canada and England were left to fight for the silver and bronze medals. Both tied, and Canada prevailed on the countback.

While National champion Mairaj Ahmad Khan shot 94 following a series of 22, 25, 23 and 24, Allan Daniel Peoples had 92, with a string of 23, 24, 24 and 21.

After winning 13 gold, eight silver and four bronze medals, the Indian shooters will look for a strong finish on the last two days in men's rifle 3-position, standard pistol and women's air pistol events.

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