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    Indian rifle shooters strike Gold on a red-letter day at Asian Games

    By indianshooting.com
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    Monday was a watershed day for Indian rifle shooters. It wasnÔÇÖt just about the medal in this category at the Asian Games, what mattered was the colour of the metal.

    Gold it was in men’s 10m air rifle team, with a world record of 1893.7 to boot, as Rudrankksh Patil, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Divyansh Singh Panwar ticked a major box at Hangzhou, China, in the 19th edition of the Games.

    There was more cheer in store when Vijayveer Sidhu, Adarsh Singh and Anish Bhanwala got the team bronze in men’s 25m rapid fire pistol team with a score of 1718.

    Gold in rifle events at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games for India are well recorded, an Asian Games gold had eluded the country for long, and that changed on Monday.

    To add a footnote, the Indian trio, which combined to shoot 1893.7, broke the world record by 0.4 in China, whose shooters had created the mark at the Baku World Championship last month.

    The silver went to Korea (1890.1) and bronze to China (1888.2).

    Divyansh (629.6) was placed eighth in qualification but did not qualify for the final since as per Asian Games rules only two shooters from a country can make the final. Rudrankksh (632.5) and Aishwary (631.6) shot in qualification.

    After 20 shots, Aishwary and Rudrankksh were tied at 208.7, and there was a shoot-off between the two Indians to avoid the elimination at the 4th place. Aishwary won the shoot-off with a near perfect 10.8 as againt 10.5 by Rudrankksh to move ahead in top three and eventually win the bronze.

    The disappointment of missing out on the team gold was made up in the individual competition by China. Lihao Sheng bagged the top prize with a score of 253.3 (634.5), final world record and qualificaton Games record, ahead of Korea Hajun Park 251.3 (632.8) and Aishwary (228.8).

    Sheng has been a consistent performer on the big stage. Silver medallist at the Tokyo Olympics, the 18-year-old struck gold in 10m air rifle mixed team at the Baku World Championship last month.

    Park, 23, is a bronze medallist in 10m air rifle mixed team at the 2022 Cairo World Championship, while Aishwary forte lies in 50m rifle three positions. The 22-year-old is a gold medallist as a junior from the 2021 Lima World Championship, among other gold at World Cups.

    China topped the standings in men’s 25m rapid fire pistol team with a world record of 1765, while Korea were placed second with 1734.

    At 1718, Indonesia and India had an identical score, but the former fate was sealed owing to India having a greater number of inner-10s. India had 45 ÔÇÿx, while Indonesia could only get 37 ÔÇÿx.

    Vijayveer 21 (582) finished fourth in the individual event, behind China Yuehong Li 33 (590), qualification Games record, and Yangpan Liu 31 (588) and Kazakhstan Nikita Chiryukin 26 (581).

    Adarsh (576) was placed 14th while Anish (560) finished 22nd.

    In qualification, third-placed Xinjie Wang (587) didn’t qualify for the final since as per the Games rule Li and Liu had qualified ahead of him.

    Hugely experienced, Li, ranked No 2 in the world, is a two-time bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and had tasted success last month with a gold at the Baku World Championship.

    Teammate Liu is an upcoming name, having stamped his class with gold as a junior at the Cairo World Championship last year.