Samresh Jung won the another gold at the Melbourne Commonwealth games. This is Jung’s fifth gold medal in Melbourne, taking the 35-year-old to a new Commonwealth Games record for India. He now has the most Commonwealth golds won by an Indian.
Putting in an outstanding performance that broke the games record in both the qualification and final scores, Jung was almost eight points clear of the second placed compatriot Vivek Singh, who took the silver. Jung’s five gold medals now equal Australian swimmers Hayley Lewis’ five at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games and Ian Thorpe’s five at Manchester in 2002.
Jung was born in 1970 in Haripur khol. Haripur khol is a sleepy village, 175 km from here, in Sirmaur district in the Shiwalik foothills. His father is a retired colonel of the Indian Army.
Villagers say Jung learnt shooting from his grandfather Sher Jung, who was a freedom fighter besides being an ace shooter. Jung studied at Modern School in Delhi and graduated from Osmania University in Hyderabad. He is currently employed as an inspector with the Central Industrial Security Force. More..
Samresh’s wife who won the Gold in 50m 3 Position Rifle Event
Sumant hails from Una, Himachal Pradesh, and is at present working as a Research Scientist in Burlington, VT, USA.
Jungâ€™s village oblivious of his feat at Câ€™wealth Games
Tribune News Service
Haripur Khol (Poanta Sahib), March 22
It came as a sweet surprise for the 2,000 inhabitants of the sleepy Haripur Khol village when The Tribune team broke the news that Samresh Jung, an illustrious son of their village, has brought glory to the country by winning five gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, underway at Melbourne.
Samresh Jung has performed exceedingly well at the games and perhaps is the first Indian sportsperson to win such a rich haul of medals. Samreshâ€™s wife, Anuja Jung, has also shot a silver medal, partnering another ace shooter Anjali Bhagwat.
However, no one was aware in the village that Samresh had become a star. In fact, elders of Samresh had shifted from the village â€” located on the Himachal-Haryana border â€” to Delhi a few decades ago. Their house is lying abandoned and is in a dilapidated condition. Samresh and his parents are now settled in Delhi.
However, there was no end to the joy of the villagers, majority of whom are agriculturists, when they were told that the ace shooter had propelled their village to the international arena.
Samresh belongs to a reputed family and his grandfather was a freedom fighter and an avid shooter himself. His great grandfather, late Partap Singh, was a collector of erstwhile Nahan state. Villagers recalled how the late Sher Jung, the grandfather of Samresh, was a compatriot of legendry freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. Jung had participated alongwith Bhagat Singh and was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Britishers, Nirmala Jung, an aunt of the celebrated shooter, told The Tribune.
When the country was celebrating Jungâ€™s achievement, the people of his own village, ironically, remained oblivious of his feat. Nand Lal, a resident of the village, said he was not aware of the unprecedented feat of the Samresh. â€œI donâ€™t know what Samresh has done,â€ was his answer.
The same answer was given by another old villager Ram Krishan, who knew about Samreshâ€™s father Sailesh Jung and his grandfather Sher Jung. â€œSailesh came here around five years back but stayed only for a day. However, Samresh, who had been to the village once or twice as a youngster, is not a familiar face with the locals,â€said Ram Krishan.
â€œHe seems to have inherited the shooting skills from his grandfather, who was a sharpshooter and a famed hunter of his time,â€ said Ram Krishan, when he was told about the stunning achievement of Samresh. Meanwhile, Nirmala Jung and her daughter Mahua Jung, who live in Gangu Bala village, 30 km from Haripur Khol, expressed their happiness. â€œWe are planning to celebrate the occasion with our family members and hope that the shooter and his wife will come and join in.â€
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006 at 7:21 pm
Melbourne – His quiet demeanour belies the fact that he has been on target every time to pick up five golds and a silver medal in various shooting events so far at the Commonwealth Games here.
There is an amazing calm about him. Nothing hurried. Sure, he is portly, but his walk is hardly an amble. It is that of a man who knows he is walking into history books.
His quiet confidence is supplemented by a terrific sense of humour, but of an understated nature. He makes a quip, and waits for your smile first, before smiling himself. But by far the best trait in him: He is simple. And he simplifies everything.
Thatâ€™s Samaresh Jung, 36 years of age and on the threshold of history as he added a fifth gold medal to his amazing collection. He also has a silver, which was what started it all here on the first day of shooting competition at the ongoing Commonwealth games.
Ask him about history and his growing collection of medals, all he will say is, â€˜Iâ€™m not interested in the record or the gold. If I am shooting well then I am happy.â€™ But seemingly unconcerned about the games records, he is aware that he is rewriting the record books.
Australian swimmers Hayley Lewis in 1990 at Auckland and Ian Thorpe, in Manchester in 2002, won five gold medals each in Commonwealth Games and Samaresh Jung has already reached that mark and the best part is that he has two more events to go.
So, why does he shoot? â€˜Because thatâ€™s what I am good at. I enjoy it,â€™ he retorts.
His grandfather and father (Col. Shailesh Jung) were both in the Indian Army and in a manner of speaking guns ran in the family.
â€˜There were always guns around. Shooting was commonplace at home. Maybe a hundred years ago, my forefathers even went for hunting. And I donâ€™t event recall when I first held a gun. It must have been when I was very young,â€™ he confesses.
Is shooting like meditation, he is asked. His reply: â€˜I donâ€™t know about meditation. I donâ€™t think too much about it. I just go there and shoot. Yes, there is a routine, but I donâ€™t think about it. Different events have different routines, different guns have different trigger pressures.â€™
Okay, forget meditation, are you religious, I ask. He peers and then says, â€˜If I am shooting well, its fine, but if I am not shooting well, I pray so that I can get better scores.â€™ Serious? No answer, all he replies with is his disarmingly mischievous smile.
So, is this the iceman, who feels nothing and just thinks that shooting is fun and shoots down gold medals like it is the easiest thing in the world?
â€˜Of course I feel pressure. My coach used to tell me, only two kind of people donâ€™t feel pressure. One, if they are fools or if they are dead,â€™ he replies and tops that with another mischievous smile.
Next, the most obvious question to a shooter from India, where cricket is an obsession: â€˜Why shooting?â€™ For a change, he pauses, and thinks.
â€˜Many years ago I saw a cricket trial for a state team in Delhi. There were 17 places and 1700 people for the trials. So, I said why not shooting. It ran in the family. And it came easy,â€™ is his simple answer.
It sure looks easy, when you keep winning gold medals and breaking records, but coach, Sunny Thomas, who has seen him right from the start, testifies: â€˜He is the most hard-working guy in the team. He trains hard and has his own goals.â€™
Ask his wife, Anuja Tere Jung, also a shooter and a silver medallist at these games, about her husbandâ€™s goal and she says: â€˜I am sure he would like to answer that.â€™
What kind of a guy is he? â€˜Oh, normal. He is not bothered about the events. He knows when to concentrate and be easy going. All he wants to do is shoot good scores,â€™ says the strikingly good-looking Thane-born, Anuja.
The duo met and became friends during one of the many shooting camps. Married some years back, they have a two-year old daughter, Souravi.
â€˜Yes, being in the national team gives us time together, but we donâ€™t talk shooting all the time. Thereâ€™s life outside shooting, too.â€™
Samaresh is backed by the Central Industrial Security Force and is designated as an inspector, but his job is shooting. With the kind of success, he has had, he is a brand in himself for the organisation.
He won two gold and three silver at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, and last month at Australia Cup – a warm-up event at the same venue – he had three gold.
â€˜I had better scores in that tournament,â€™ says Samaresh.
Finally, I inform him that back home, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, has announced a cash prize of Rs.1,00,000 for him.
â€˜Oh is it,â€™ he asks and then I add, â€˜I have already told your wife, and she is going shopping.â€™ A mock-serious look ensues and then he says, â€˜Oh no.â€™
The wife is probably already shopping, while Samaresh Jung is shopping for medals.
Ace shooter Samresh Jung might have missed out on a record seven gold medals but the Indian more than made up for it when he was adjudged the “Best Athlete of the 18th Commonwealth Games” on Sunday.
Jung, who won five gold, a silver and a bronze in pistol shooting competitions, becomes the first Indian ever to bag the honour in Commonwealth Games history.
The 35-year old CISF Inspector from Delhi had set a target of winning an unprecedented seven gold in a single edition of the Games at the start of the event.
But a wandering mind in a shoot-out forced him to settle for bronze in the 25m centre fire pistol individual event before a malfunctioning gun in the standard fire pistol individual competition saw him end up ninth.
Jung has already left for China where he will be competing in the ISSF Shooting World Cup.
HJ Dora, Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent, said: “It is a rare honour for an Indian athlete and it will inspire the younger generation in the country to come up with more medal winning performances in the international arena.
“The whole Indian contingent is proud of Jung’s exploits. The long periods of training and hard work put in by him has borne fruit.”
However, the CRPF inspector showed strength of character to come back and win a bronze at the next edition of the championship in Kingston, Jamaica.
Harwant Kaur and Krishna Poonia were the other Indians in the women’s discus fray at Melbourne, but Seema left them far behind with an attempt of 60.56m, better than anything she managed in 2005 or 2006. For the record, Poonia finished fifth and Harwant seventh.
In fact, had the Haryana girl got near her personal best of 64.64m, she would have landed the gold medal in place of South African Elizna Naude who threw the disc to a distance of 61.55m.
Destiny smiled on the Indian 4x400m relay team also when the fancied Jamaicans dropped the baton and the English women crossed the line ahead of the field but were later disqualified for changing their positions.
The quartet of Rajwinder Kaur, Chitra Soman, Manjit Kaur and Pinki Parmanik came home in 3:29.57 behind Australia who clocked 3:28.66.
Incidentally, the national record of 3:26.89 posted at the Athens Olympics would have seen another gold added to the Indian kitty.
India also sent a small contingent of Elite Athletes with Disabilities and Ranjith Kumar Jayaseelan grabbed a bronze in the men’s seated discus throw with an attempt of 29.88m.
What is required is more quality international exposure, better facilities and proper guidance.
The event was dominated by local talent Bronwyn Thompson with a Games record of 6.97m who cleared the best four distances achieved in the competition.
But Anju seemed strangely out of rhythm, and though the mark was her best effort of 2006 so far, she finished behind several lesser known competitors who performed only marginally better.
Much was expected of the Indian trio of JJ Shobha, Soma Biswas and Susmita Singha Roy in women’s heptathlon. Soma and Susmita had starred in an Indian 1-2 at the Asian Championship at Incheon, South Korea, last year, while Shobha had earned kudos for her courage in competing despite injury at the Athens Olympics.
But the three disappointed and finished way down the leaderboard without ever looking like challenging their personal best tallies.
US-based Vikas Gowda was also one of those to look out for as he entered the shot put and discus throw. He made it to the finals in both the events but finished fifth and sixth respectively.
The disappointment would be compounded by the knowledge that his personal best of 64.69m would have got him a discus gold.
The decathlon national record holder Jora Singh limped out after four events due to an ankle injury while the fancied Ghamanda Ram bowed out in the heats itself.