Ace shooter grabs his first individual medal in Asiad, a bronze in 10M air rifle.
Abhinav Bindra, the golden man of Indian shooting, bid adieu to the Asian Games on a glorious note, winning his first individual medal of the continental bash and playing the lead role in securing a team bronze here on Tuesday.
Bindra, who checked into Incheon with extra determination, finally laid his hands on an individual medal, a bronze in the 10M air rifle after managing 187.1 in the finals at the Ongnyeon Shooting Range.
Bindra’s efforts in the qualifying where he finished fifth with a score of 625.4 helped shooting capture its fifth bronze medal. Ravi Kumar and Sanjeev Rajput allied with Bindra to form the Indian team that finished behind gold medallists China and runners-up South Korea. The news was not great, however, in women’s trap. The team finished a disappointing eighth in the team championship at the Gyeonggido Range. Shreyasi Singh was a tad unlucky though, failing to make the final cut by just one place while ending ninth.
Just like it has been throughout all the competitions in the shooting range, marksmen in the 10M air rifle final too entered with a strong resume. Having beaten the best, Bindra arrived to a thunderous applause and he seemed to love the reception, waving to fans before he took aim. He started brilliantly, nailing 10.4, 10.5 and 10.2 in his opening set of three shots to lie second behind 18-year-old Chinese sensation and eventual gold medal winner Yang Haoran. He nailed 10.5, 10.4 and 9.9 in his next three attempts to slip to fourth but a shot of 10.3 and a stunning 10.9 powered him back to second as a cracking finale ensued.
His fourth set of two shots was also top notch, 10.4 and 10.7 helping him regain pole position and while a 10.3 on the 11th helped him stay on top, a shocking 9.6 hauled him back to fourth. With Yang and Cao firing big, Bindra needed some big shots and he produced that easily, shooting 10.4 and 10.5 on the 13th and 14th attempts to stay within touching distance of the leaders. Shots of 10.3 and 10.5 were good enough for bronze. Though he scored 10.6 and 10.7 in his next shots, he couldn’t get a medal of different hue as silver-medallist Cao too came up with big shots. While Cao finished at 208.9, Yang romped home with 209.6.
Results: Men: 10M Air Rifle: Individual: Yang Haoran (Chn) 209.6, 1; Cao Yifei (208.9) 2; Abhinav Bindra (Ind) 187.1, 3. Team: China (Cao Yifei, Yang Haoran, Liu Tianyou) 1886.4, 1; South Korea (Kim Sangdo, Kim Hyeonjun, Han Jinseop) 1867.6, 2; India (Abhinav Bindra, Ravi Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput) 1863, 3. Women: Trap: Kazakhstan (203) 1; China (199) 2; North Korea (198) 3.India (Shreyasi Singh, Seema Tomar, Shaqun Chowdhary) 188, 8.