New Delhi: Beijing Olympics champion Abhinav Bindra produced some excellent shooting to clinch the gold while London Games bronze medallist Gagan Narang failed to finish on the podium in the men’s 10M Air Rifle event of the Asian Air Gun Championships here on Sunday.
The 32-year-old Bindra shot 208.3 to bag the top prize ahead of Kazakhstan’s world number eight Yurkov Yuriy (206.6) and Korea’s Yu Jaechul (185.3) on the first day of the competition at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.
Narang, who won a bronze in the same event in 2012 London Olympics, finished fourth with a score of 164.5 while another Indian, Chain Singh was two places below at seventh after notching up 122.7.
Narang started on a good note, shooting 10.6 and 10.6, but fell behind in the following attempts while Chain Singh was out after a shoot-off with Korea’s Kim Dajin.
Bindra, however, maintained his consistency and was way ahead of the rest of the pack when the finals ended.
“A lot of training has gone into it. I am always trying to do the best I can. It may look easy but I can guarantee it’s very, very tough,” Bindra said after his triumph.
“It’s always good to win medals. I can’t call it a practice but yes it’s good preparation for Rio Olympics because there were medals at stake. When there is a medal involved we can’t call it practice because there is varying degree of pressure,” he said.
India’s rifle coach Stanislav Lapidus was never in doubt about Bindra’s chances in the tournament.
“There was no doubt about his result, I was expecting it, but with Gagan, it was different. He is preparing for the future,” Lapidus said.
India won the gold medal in the 10M air rifle team event too with Bindra, Narang and Chain Singh shooting a total of 1868.6. The Korean team (1859.1) finished second and Saudi Arabia (1824.8) took the third spot.
India also won a gold and a silver in the youth section while the junior boys bagged two silver medals.
Satyajeet Kandhol won the gold medal in the 10M air rifle youth category after he shot 204.8 to pip Chinese Taipei’s Shao-Chuan Lu (203.7) for the top spot. Iran’s Daavoud Abadi Abbasali (183.8) came third.
The Indian trio of Kandhol, Mithlesh and Gajendra Raj finished with the silver medal in team event after aggregating 1827.7. Korea won the gold.
In the junior section, Pratik Borse bagged the silver medal by shooting 203.9 behind Mohammad Hossein Karimi (205.4) of Iran. Korea’s Changhee Han managed the bronze in this section with 183.2.
Borse teamed up with Prashant and Akhil Sheoran to win the silver in junior team event. They aggregated 1856.4 to finish second behind Iran and ahead of third-placed Korea.
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