Home Gold and Glory for Palak Gulia at Asian Games

    Gold and Glory for Palak Gulia at Asian Games

    By indianshooting.com

    The year 2022 was a watershed phase for Palak Gulia. After taking to shooting in 2019, she put to test the hours of training, it was a daily grind of four hours, in competition. She came out with flying colours in her first international competition, winning gold in women’s 10m air pistol at the ISSF Junior Cup in Suhl.

    Cut to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou on Friday. As Palak stood on the podium with the gold in women’s 10m air pistol after shooting a Games record of 242.1, the mind would have wandered to last year.

    It wasnÔÇÖt about the success in Suhl, but the National Championship and pain associated with it. Palak competed while battling a shoulder problem, and the promising career could have been easily derailed by pain.

    The 17-year-old surmounted that barrier and made herself and the country proud on Friday by earning her first gold in the senior ranks at a setting where the best of Asia battle it out for glory.

    It was a high-quality field comprising China Ranxin Jiang, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist and gold-medal winner at the Baku World Championship last month, but on this day it was about Palak and Esha Singh, whose silver made it 1-2 for India for the first time at the Asian Games. The team silver was for India taking with Divya Thadigol Subbaraju as the third member.

    There was a first for Pakistan as well, opening their account in Hangzhou through Kishmala Talat bronze. Like Palak, the 21-year from Islamabad started her international journey, and the medal will surely be a boost.

    Qualification was a different story with the Chinese shooters, Nan Zhao and Jiang reigning supreme with a qualification Games record of 581. Talat was third with 580, while Esha (579) was fifth and Palak (577) seventh among the eight names to qualify. Divya shot 575 to finish 10th.

    The team gold was China with Jiang, Zhao and Xue Li compiling 1736 for a Games record. India shot 1731, followed by Chinese Taipei with 1723.

    Esha completed her Asian GamesÔÇÖ assignment with four medals, having won silver in 25m pistol and gold in the team event.

    Like Esha, Aishwary Pratap Singh capped the Games with a fourth medal. Silver it was in men’s 50m rifle three positions, and the team of Akhil Sheoran, Swapnil Kusale and Aishwary went one better to bag gold with a score of 1769, eight points more than the existing world record set by USA in Lima last year.
    Coming into this competition on the back of gold in the 10m air rifle team and an individual bronze in the event, Aishwary was raring to go, and it was a consistent show throughout on Friday.
    Aishwary was second in qualification, tying with Olympic quota winner Kusale at 591, a Games record, but the latter surged ahead on account of hitting more inner 10s.

    China Linshu Du finished third with 590, while another Olympic quota winner Sheoran was fifth with 587. He could not qualify for the final on account of the Asian Games rule of only two players per country.

    Du, gold medallist at the Bhopal World Cup earlier this year, stepped up to shoot a Games record of 460.6 to deny Aishwary (559.7) gold. China made it 1-3 with Jiaming Tian taking bronze with a score of 448.3 for his first international medal.

    Earlier, the team gold was India with a score of 1769, followed by China (1763) and Korea at 1748.

    At the culmination of another fruitful day at the shooting range, which saw five medals being added to the kitty, India have 18 medals from the discipline so far in what has been their best show at these Games by a distance.