Hangzhou, September 29
The young Indian shooting brigade’s dominance at the Hangzhou Asian Games continued as the country bagged five more medals in the discipline today.
With two gold and three silver today, India have already surpassed their best-ever medal haul in the continental showpiece, and there are still two more days of shooting to come.
The grand success of the shooters over the last six days has seen them amass 18 medals — six gold, seven silver and five bronze — and surpass the 14 they had won at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Palak Gulia and Esha Singh made it a one-two finish in the women’s 10m air pistol event after the trio of Esha, Palak and Divya TS grabbed the team silver.
The triumvirate of Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Swapnil Kusale and Akhil Sheoran added a team gold in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions. The 22-year-old Aishwary also won the individual silver. Esha (1 gold, 3 silver) and Aishwary (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) have won four medals each in this edition.
The 18-year-old Esha led from the front as she guided the team to the silver medal today. Esha (579), Palak (577) and Divya (575) aggregated 1731 points, while China took the gold medal with a total of 1736, which is an Asian Games record. Chinese Taipei finished third with 1723.
Palak and Esha then set the shooting range ablaze in the final. The teenage duo challenged each other for the top podium finish until 17-year-old Palak edged ahead. She shot 242.1 in the final for a Games record, while Esha scored 239.7. It is the first time in this edition that two Indian shooters have finished one-two.
“My biggest competitor has always been me. I’m always fighting with myself,” said Palak, who hails from Jhajjar district in Haryana. “My first shot was 9.1. I was a bit nervous after that. But then I thought it’s not over, I have 23 more shots to go. How you come back from your bad shots defines you as an athlete. So I was only focusing on the process,” she added.
Esha said she would give her performance a nine out of 10. “The start was very nice. I was able to maintain my focus for as long as possible. There were times when it was not working out, but I’m glad that at the end it did,” she said.
Pakistan’s Talat Kishmala settled for the bronze after giving a tough fight to Esha.
In the 50m 3 positions event, the young trio of Aishwary (591), Swapnil (591) and Akhil (587), overcame the Chinese challenge with a world record score of 1769. The Indian trio smashed the world record by eight points. The host team finished with 1763 points, while South Korea were third with 1748 points. Aishwary and Swapnil qualified for the individual final as the top two shooters. Akhil, despite finishing fifth, missed out on the final as only two shooters from a country are allowed in the individual medal round.
In the final, China’s Du Linshu shot an Asiad record of 460.6 to deny the 22-year-old Indian the gold. Aishwary finished with 459.7, while China’s Tain Jiaming took bronze with of 448.3. The 28-year-old Swapnil led for a major part but a poor shot of 7.6 saw him fall from top position to fifth. He eventually finished fourth. — PTI\
Live on sony sports
Indians in action
Athletics (6:30am onwards)
Men’s long jump: Jeswin Aldrin, Murali Sreeshankar; Heptathlon: Swapna Barman, Nandini Agasara; Women’s 100m hurdles: Jyothi Yarraji, Nithya Ramraj; Men’s 1,500m: Ajay Kumar Saroj, Jinson Johnson;
Men’s 10,000m: Gulveer Singh, Kartik Kumar
Men’s team semifinals: India vs South Korea 2:30pm
Women’s 54kg last-8: Preeti Pawar 11:30am; Women’s 75kg last-8: Lovlina Borgohain 12:15pm; Men’s 57kg last-16: Sachin Siwach 1pm; Men’s +92kg last-8: Narender Berwal 2:15pm; Men’s 71kg last-8: Nishant Dev 6:30pm
Round 2 of team events
Men’s Pool A:
India vs Pakistan 6:15pm
Men’s and Women’s Round 3
Mixed 10m pistol: Sarabjot Singh & Divya TS; Men’s trap: Prithviraj Toindaman, Kynan Chenai, Zoravar Singh Sandhu; Women’s trap: Manisha Keer, Preeti Rajak, Rajeshwari Kumari
Men’s team final:
India vs Pakistan 1pm
Women’s singles last-8: Manika Batra; Men’s doubles last-8: Manush Shah & Manav Thakkar; Women’s doubles last-8: Sutirtha Mukherjee & Ayhika Mukherjee
Mixed doubles final:
Rohan Bopanna & Rutuja Bhosale 9:30am
Weightlifting (6:30am onwards)
Women’s 49kg: Mirabai Chanu Women’s 55kg: Bindyarani Devi
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