Shooters win first gold for India

Men's and women's pairs clinch top spot on the podium as Australia look to press home their advantage in the pool.

    Eye of the tiger: Bindra concentrates during his victory alongside Narang in the rifle pairs [GALLO/GETTY]

    India won their first gold medals at the Commonwealth Games as Australia looked to shore up their early advantage in New Delhi.

    Going into day three, Australia had four gold, with Canada, South Africa, Nigeria and Malaysia all on one each.

    But India's Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang got Tuesday off to a good start for the hosts with victory in the men's 10m air rifle pairs shooting competition.

    And Anisa Syyed and Rahee Sarnobat followed that up by clinching the gold in the women's 25m pistol pairs event.

    "It was always important for us to do well on home ground," said 28-year-old Bindra.

    "It gives us a good start and hopefully, we will have many more medals in the coming days."

    The cycling competition gets underway on Tuesday with the Australians and English expected to dominate.

    Three gold will be won with Australian Anna Meares, in her third Games, defending her 500m time trial title.

    Stiff competition

    The veteran's stiffest competition is likely to come from compatriot Kaarle McCulloch in the absence of England's Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton.

    "I've got a very strong opponent in fellow teammate Anna Meares, who is out to win three gold medals. But so am I," McCulloch said.

    Among the men, Australia's Jack Bobridge contests the 4,000m individual pursuit with the golden door opened for him by the withdrawals of England's Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins and Welshman Geraint Thomas.

    The men's 1,000m time trial crown is also up for grabs.

    The opening day of Commonwealth action on Monday was blighted by empty stadiums as the teeming city opted to stay home instead of support the Games, and the early indications was that it had not improved on Tuesday.

    There were few people watching the swimming heats, and even fewer at the wrestling, netball, field hockey and table tennis.

    Organisers of the competition for 71 nations and territories of the former British Empire will be hoping top seeded men's tennis player Somdev Devvarman of India will draw the crowds when he faces Bahamian Devin Mullings.

    Only a few hundred people turned up on Monday to watch Indian stars Sania Mirza and Leander Paes, and those that made the effort discovered there was no water to drink in the blazing sun, according to reports.

    Adding to the problems, the huge screen on centre court wasn't working because the equipment is yet to be set up, the Times of India said.

    Scotland's Jamie Murray, brother of world number four Andy who opted not to play here, is also in action, meeting Rodney Carey of Bahamas in the first round.


    Out at the boxing stadium, the official weigh-in was due to take place after farcical scenes forced it to be abandoned on Monday after faulty scales showed most of the fighters were too heavy.

    "The whole place was in uproar," said Northern Ireland coach Stephen Friel.

    "All of the coaches here said they had never seen anything like it."

    It was the latest crisis at the troubled and heavily-fortified Games, which have been dogged by worries over threats of attacks, corruption, construction delays, and outbreaks of dengue fever.

    Elsewhere, Australia look set to continue their dominance in the pool after winning three of the five gold on offer on the opening day.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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