The 10 days of intense competition, bitter rivalry, achievement and disappointment were finally ended with an emotional send off for the 18th Commonwealth games on Sunday night in Melbourne. The Commonwealth Games Federation flag was lowered and handed to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, were the New Delhi invites the world to be there in 2010 Commonwealth Games. On the field, India put up one of their best performances in recent times, winning a rich bounty of 22 gold, 17 silver and 11 bronze medals to finish fourth in the 18th Commonwealth Games.
On the first day of the Commonwealth Games, after an expected gold slipped out of his hands in the 50 pistol pair, Samaresh Jung looked disappointed. It is to the credit of the 36-year-old inspector in the Central Industrial Security Force that he overcame the early jitters. Samaresh was the cynosure of all eyes grabbing 5 gold and a silver and bronze each but was rather unfortunate not to have equaled the existing record of Australian swimming hero Ian Thorpe and Susie O'Neill, who won six gold medals each in a single Games. Samaresh was one shooter whose confidence level increased on March 22 when he comfortable won the 10m air pistol event, each day that passed in the games even though a malfunctioning pistol denied him of a possible medal in the standard fire event on the last day of the event. For Samaresh, an Olympics berth, which he narrowly missed in 2004, is a dream. 3 records, two in pairs and one in 10m air pistol and ended the top medalist in this edition of the Games and was justifiable named the most outstanding athlete of the Games and honored with the David Dixon award.
22-year old Gagan Narang from Hyderabad remained the lone Indian athlete to achieve cent per cent success. His individual tally reads four gold medals, three of which were with new records to boot. Olympic silver medalist Lt Col Rajyavaradan Singh Rathore lost out on a gold medal in the double trap pair event due to stiff opposition coming three Olympians and a world champion but he defended his Manchester 2002 individual title in style. In the Trap final, Rathore stood tall for the gold with a tally of 181 (137+44).