Dhanush Srikanth created history by becoming the first Indian shooter to win a gold at the Deaflympics on Wednesday. Dhanush claimed the top prize in Men’s 10m Air Rifle at the ongoing 24th Deaflympics 2021 at Caxias do Sul, Brazil, thereby ensuring a golden start to India’s campaign at the Games.
Compatriot Shourya Saini put the icing on India’s cake with a bronze, finishing behind Korea’s Kim Woo Rim in the final. Dhanush shot 247.5, setting a new world record for the hearing impaired, to emerge triumphant as Kim fell short with 246.6, while Shourya bowed out in third with 224.3.
The 19-year-old Dhanush shot 623.3 in qualification to come in behind Kim, who shot 625.1 to top the field. Shourya was third with 622.7 ensuring two Indians made it to the final.
In the final too, Kim began with a bang and was leading Dhanush till the 18th shot of the 24-shot final. The Indian found his bearings when the single shots began after the 10th shot and slowly but surely made-up lost ground to the Korean.
After going past Kim on the 18th shot, Dhanush never looked back and kept widening the gap, eventually leaving the Korean almost a point behind to seal victory. Shourya was third throughout the final and ensured a full return for the squad from the event.
India has sent 10 Shooters in their 65-strong contingent for the Brazil Deaflympics. It is their largest and youngest ever squad and will be participating in 11 sporting disciplines. In the previous 2017 edition India had finished with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals and so this is now already an improvement on that result.