New Delhi: Rifle shooting ace Gagan Narang picked up his third gold medal, and second pairs, in the Commonwealth Games while the women's archery team grabbed their first as India widened the lead over England in the race for the second spot on the fifth day today.
Narang, who had won the men's 10m air rifle pairs and individual gold medals going into today's competition, added the pairs 50m rifle 3-position gold to his kitty with Imran Hasan Khan, with a Games record to add to the feat.
It was the country's 16th gold after women archers Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee and Bombayala Devi Laishram fetched India their 15th title and more medals were primed to be plucked by the Indians during the day.
India's highest gold medal tally, 30, was in Manchester in 2002 while four years later at Melbourne the country's athletes scooped up 22.
The trio of women archers, forming the recurve team, defeated England 207-206 in a nail-biting final at the Yamuna Sport Complex to provide the country their first gold from the bow-and-arrow range.
The women prevailed over Malaysia 213-185 to set the tune this morning before edging out the English trio in the final.
Yesterday, the Indian compound archers had claimed a silver and a bronze in the men's and women's team events respectively to continue their contribution in increasing the country's tally.
The shooting and archery gold medals helped India widen the lead over England by four but a red-hot race for the second spot in the Games is on among these two nations and Canada who have one gold less than England.
The race is expected to become more intense today with 43 gold medals to be decided during the busiest day in the 11-day Games.
With Australia seemingly having taken an unassailable lead with 32 golds in their kitty, the race for finishing No. 2 in the Games has narrowed down to a three-horse race between second-placed India, No.3 England and No. 4 Canada.
India have been dominating the shooting range but have also been doing well in disciplines like wrestling and weightlifting as well as archery.
In tennis, men's singles top seed Somdev Devvarman defeated Australia's Matt Ebden 6-3 6-1 to enter the final while Sania Mirza was set to play in the women's singles against Rogowska Olivia of Australia. More PTI Team SSR MRM
Somdev and Rohan Bopanna are also set to play the men's doubles semi finals along with the "Indian Express" duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi while Nirupama Sanjeev and Pooja Venkatesha would be striving to make the women's doubles final.
In table tennis, the Indian women are up against Singapore in the tie for the gold medal and the men are up against England for a spot in the final. Preliminary rounds of the individual events are to commence.
In badminton India are up against Malaysia in the mixed team final to settle the gold and silver medals.
Away from the thick of competitions, the Games organising committee chief, Suresh Kalmadi, has apologised to the Ugandan team and the High Commissioner in India for the freak car accident at the Athletes' Village that injured three top officials of the African nation, including the Chef de Mission.
"Mr Kalmadi has sent a letter to the High Commissioner and chef de mission apologising for whatever has happened," OC secretary-general Bhanot said at the customary daily press briefing at the Main Press Centre today.
Uganda Chef de Mission William Tumwine, Administrative Officer Iren and Press Attache Juliet early Wednesday when their official car applied sudden brakes and hit the hi-tech underground sharp metal stoppers that had sprung up as they were entering the Village.
An angry Ugandan sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi had earlier demanded an apology from Indian authorities for the accident.
The Ugandan Sports Minister, who could not attend a dinner hosted by Indian Sports Minister M S Gill last night, has now accepted a luncheon invitation from his Indian counterpart today alongwith his family.
Gill had already expressed regrets on behalf of the CWG Organising Committee to the Ugandan High Commissioner Nimisha J Madhvani and the Ugandan Sports Minister.
Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell said the underground sharp metal stoppers will be de-activated and he is waiting for a "full and compreshensive report" on the accident.
"The device will be de-activated so that such accidents do not occur in future," he said today at the press conference that he addressed with Bhanot and CGF Chief Executive Mike Hooper.
"We are receiving a full and comprehensive report from the Indian authorities. We are seeking a report from the Delhi Police wand other security agencies. We have also our own security consultant and he will give us his report also," Fennell said.