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Asian Games: Indian Men shooters hit the mark with gold and two bronze medals; 10m rifle team sets world record

Indian shooters hit the mark at the 19th Asian Games here, winning gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Team event and two bronze medals — in Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Team and Men’s 10m Air Rifle Individual events at the shooting ranges at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre on Monday.

The men’s team of Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Rudransh Patil bagged the gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Team event with a world record score of 1893.7 at the 10m range here.

Tomar then went on to win the bronze medal in the individual competition with a shoot-out win over his teammate Rudransh Patil. 

In the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Team competition, the Indian team of Adarsh Singh, Anish Bhanwala and Vijayveer Sidhu bagged the bronze medal with a combined total of 1718 in the competition held over two days. They finished third behind host China and the Republic of Korea, who took gold and silver respectively with scores of 1765 and 1734. 

The focus however was on the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Team event as the Indian combine claimed gold with a superb performance. 

The Indian combine of Aishwary Tomar, Rudransh Patil and Divyansh Panwar shot superbly for an aggregate score of 1893.7, improving on the World Record of 1983.3 set by China at the ISSF World Cup in Baku in August this year.

At the end of the first round of 10 shots, the Indians were in the second spot with a score of 313.7 while China took the lead with 315.0. Korea started off with a score of 311.3 with Japan and Bangladesh ahead of them with 313.1 and 313.3 respectively. 

The Indians shot 315.9 in the second round and then went from strength to strength with scores of 313.7, 315.9, 318.7 and 315.8 in the next three rounds to finish on top of the standings. 

Korea had scores of 316.6, 315.0, 317.1, 316.0 and 313.5 for an aggregate of 1890.1 for silver while China shot 313.1, 315.9, 313.7, 314.1, 316.4 and 1888.2 in the second to 5th rounds to win the bronze medal.

The Indian trio were in such great form that all three finished in the top 8 but as only two shooters from one country were allowed into the final, Tomar and Patil made the grade.

They fought neck and neck in the final and finished at the same score, needing a shoot-out to decide who gets the third spot. Aishwary Pratap Singh outshot Rudransh Patil to win the bronze medal. Rudransh Patil has already bagged his quota for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in this event while the other team are yet to qualify.

China’s Lihao Sheng won the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle Individual event with a World Record score of 253.3, improving the mark of 252.8 pts held by his compatriot Yu Haonan since 2019. The Chinese shooter shot exceptionally well and was totally in his zone as he went from strength to strength having topped the qualifying round with a Qualifying Asian Games Record of 634.5 points.

Korea’s Park Ha-jun took the silver medal with 251.3, relegating Aishwary to the third position. The two Indians had a thrilling battle with the Korean, always snapping at his heels but Park somehow managed to nose ahead with a narrow gap.

In the 25m range nearby, the Indian team of Vijayveer Singh Sandhu, Anish and Adarsh Singh took the bronze medal in the Men’s 25m Rapid Pistol Team competition with 1718 points. 

At the end of the first qualifying phase on Sunday, Anish was lying sixth and in the final qualifying spot, after the precision round with a score of 292. Chinese world champion Li Yuehong was leading with a score of 296. Vijayveer Sidhu and Adarsh were further back with scores of 289 and 287 respectively.

In the second phase on Monday, the Indians shot 289, 285 and 276 to eventually finish third. 

In the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Individual event, China grabbed the first three spots with Li Yuehong leading with a qualifying Games Record of 590-23x, Liu Yangpan in second position with 588-19x and Wang Xinjie third with 587-21x. The first two made it to the final.

India’s Vijayveer shot brilliantly in the second phase and made it to the final as the sixth-best shooter with a score of 582-18x. 

The Indian rifle coach Thomas Farnik said he was happy with his team’s performance in the Asian Games so far as the shooters added three more medals to the two they won in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle event on the opening day of the shooting competition on Sunday. Ramita Thapar won bronze in the individual event after teaming up with Mehuli Ghosh and Ashi Chouksey to win silver in the team competition.

“The shooters’ performance has been excellent over the last one and half years that I have been with them. To reach the individual medals, you need a little bit of luck too. The Chinese shooter shot incredibly in the final but you need to have some luck in the initial period so that keeps you a bit relaxed towards the end. it’s not easy,” said the coach.

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