The Indian shooters made a telling statement at the Asian Games, winning three medals, including a team gold, as the country’s marksmen asserted their class
by grabbing five podium finishes in just two days of competition here.
A confident Indian 10m air rifle team, led by teenage world champion Rudrankksh Patil, gave the country its first gold medal at the Games, securing the top place with a world record score here on Monday.
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar competes in the men's 10m air rifle event (individual), winning bronze in Hangzhou, on Monday. PTI
The trio of Rudrankksh, Olympian Divyansh Singh Panwar and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar aggregated 1893.7 in the qualification round to beat back the challenge of the shooting powerhouse China and South Korea on the way to team gold.
Aishwary then earned the country an individual bronze — India’s fourth in shooting so far — in the event after a third-place shoot-off with compatriot Rudrankksh, who finished fourth.
The triumvirate of Anish Bhanwala, Vijayveer Sidhu and Adarsh Singh totalled 1718 to win bronze in men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol event. In the individual section, Sidhu settled for the fourth position.
In one of the most dominating displays seen by Indian air rifle shooters in multi-discipline events, the 19-year-old Rudrankksh shot a superb 632.5, Aishwary 631.6 and Panwar 629.6 to aggregate the world record score as South Korea was pushed to second spot (1890.1), while the Chinese team was a distant third with an aggregate score of 1888.2.
“We (the team) gave our best and won gold. We did not know it initially, but were told that it was a world record. We said it must be gold then,” Rudrankksh said later.
“It was not easy but we beat China in the team event,” Tomar said.
“I am a bit disappointed that I did not win an individual event gold. But I am really happy that I won a team gold. My two teammates are the best shooters in 10m air rifle.”
India would be slightly disappointed at missing a gold, or a sliver, in the individual category following the red-hot form shown by both Aishwary and Rudrankksh in the qualification round.
Rudrankksh and Tomar had made it to the eight-shooter finals following their superb display in the qualification round, while Divyansh missed out thanks to an Asian Games rule that allows only two marksmen from a country to enter the finals.
Aishwary was happy with his overall performance.
“I am very happy with my performance. I was very consistent throughout, even in the qualification. This is my first Asian Games and my first medal in these Games.
“Sometimes there will be bad shots and that is part of the game,” Aishwary, who also competes in 50m rifle 3P positions, said.
With inputs from PTI