Chain Singh upstaged Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang yet again, as the Indian shooters extended its gold rush on day three of the shooting competition at the 12th South Asian Games.
India also swept all the four gold medals on offer at the Kahilipara Shooting Range in Guwahati, a feat achieved for a second successive day after they had won all five gold medals on day two.
It was also Chain’s fourth gold medal of the Games. Chain came through a tense final from a star-studded field to take the individual and team gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle.
The 26-year-old, winner of the Men’s 50m Rifle Prone title on Thursday, kept his cool even as he was pushed hard by Bangladesh’s Md. Sovon Chowdhury, who cracked during the end of the finals.
All eyes seemed to be on Gagan Narang, again the favourite initially, but the 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist had a wayward final and had to be satisfied with the bronze. This after the 32-year-old had been the top performer in qualification with a tally of 623.2 points ahead of Chain Singh (621.9) and Bangladesh’s Abdullah Baki (621.5).
Finished with an individual bronze and team gold not satisfied with air rifle, back to the drawing board for me @OGQ_India @indianshooting
— GAGAN NARANG (@gaGunNarang) February 12, 2016
In the final, it was Baki who led the initial round with a card of 31.5. Chain had a shaky start with 29.7 in the first three shots but later showed amazing consistency in the finals. Chain shot a 10.5 and 10.1 in the last two shots to claim the title with a score of 204.5. Silver was won by Chowdhury with a score of 203.6 while Narang won the bronze with a score of 182.0.
The trio of Chain Singh, Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan also won the team gold, Bangladesh won the silver while Sri Lanka claimed the bronze.
The Indian shooter was naturally very excited. “I am very delighted with the gold medal. But I am disappointed with my score as I feel that I could have shot much better. The focus obviously from now on will be at the Olympic Games and my aim is to win a medal for the country in Rio,” Chain Singh said.
Neeraj Kumar wins Gold in 25m Standard Pistol
The other shooting event of the day, the Men’s 25m Standard Pistol, saw yet another top three finish for India when Neeraj Kumar won the gold with a score of 569, Gurpreet Singh the silver with 566 and Mahender Singh the bronze with a final score of 563 points.The trio also pocketed the team gold in the event, Pakistan claimed the silver while Sri Lanka took the bronze.
So after three days of the shooting competition at the tournament, India stayed on top by a long distance in the shooting medal tally with 12 gold, six silver and five bronze for a total of 23 medals in all. Bangladesh with the lone gold was second on the table with a total of five medals.
Men’s 10m Air Rifle: 1. Chain Singh 204.6 (621.9), 3. Md. Sovon Chowdhury (BAN) 203.6 (617.0), 3. Gagan Narang 182.0 (623.2). Team: 1. India 1863.4, 2. Bangladesh 1845.8, 3. Sri Lanka 1627.2
Men’s 25m Standard Pistol: 1. Neeraj Kumar 569, 2. Gurpreet Singh 566, 3. Mahender Singh 563. Team: 1. India 1698, 2. Pakistan 1663, 3. Sri Lanka 1603.