Heena Sidhu celebrates with her husband and coach Ronak Pandit after winning the gold medal in the 25m air pistol event at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane yesterday.
The eight-member final at the Belmont Shooting Centre saw the 28-year-old in her best form, as her score also contained two ideal fives, the complete sequence being 5, 5, 4, 4, 3 and 4, besting Australia's Elana Galiabovitch after being neck and neck during the last two rounds. Sidhu explained that her training regime differs for the 10m and 25m events: "I train for two-and-a-half hours for the 10m, and one-and-a-half hour for the 25m event". Another Indian in this event, Annu Singh finished sixth with a below-par performance that gave her 15 points as she exited after six series. Heena was third with 579. "Thankfully, my trigger which has been giving me some trouble because of a tingling sensation was alright today". When asked if there is more pressure on her now with youngsters like Manu and Mehuli Ghosh in the mix, Sidhu replied: "I am unaware of their shooting as seniors and juniors are in separate camps". "The 10m air pistol final is a blur to me, I couldn't feel my fingers during that". She was consistent in the Rapid round as well as scores of 98, 96 and 97.
"I guess it's about ensuring that whether you compete at the Olympics or the state championships, the intensity and process remains the same".
Earlier in the day, Chain Singh and Gagan Narang disappointed in 50m Rifle Prone Men's Shooting Finals.
Heena, who finished third in the qualifier, notched up a new CWG record of 38 points in the final to take the title in style. He was tied for the second spot at the end of the first series.
Muhammad Anas Yahiya ran perhaps his best race ever in the final of the Men's 400m, but missed the bronze narrowly finishing a very creditable 4th.
Competing in just one event at the ongoing Games, the 34-year-old Narang would be returning without a CWG medal for the first time in his career. This is Elana's second medal at this CWG edition too; for she won the bronze at the 10m air pistol. But after being impressive in qualifying, Singh could only manage a 6th placed finish.