Asian Games: China wins gold and silver at shooting range

Ji Xiaojing and Wu Jiayu claim gold in the 10m mixed air pistol; India’s Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma bow out in sixth place.

China’s Wu Jiayu (L) and Ji Xiaojing celebrate after winning the 10m air pistol mixed team shooting event at Palembang on Sunday.   -  AFP

China’s champion duo Ji Xiaojing and Wu Jiayu won the gold medal in the 10m mixed air pistol at the Asiad on Sunday, while India’s teenage shooting sensation Manu Bhaker made a disappointing early exit.

Ji, 30, and Wu, 21, saw off Korea in the final, adding the Asian Games title to their cabinet after setting a new world record of 487.7 in April at the World Cup in Changwon, Korea. The pair — World No. 4 and World No. 6 respectively — scored 473.2 on Sunday, short of their best but enough to edge Koreans Kim Minjung and Lee Daemyung into second place with Vietnam bagging bronze.

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India’s gold hopefuls Bhaker, 16, and Abhishek Verma, 28, ended up bowing out in sixth place, missing out on a place in the finals.

‘Unbelievable’ victory

China’s victory will help offset its earlier result in the 10m mixed air rifle event, in which the country narrowly lost to rival Taiwan to take silver against teenager Lin Yingshin and her team-mate Lu Shaochuan. World No. 9 Lu Shaochuan told reporters afterwards that the win came as a total surprise following an under-par display in the qualifying round. “It's unbelievable,” he said. “I wanted to give up but I cheered up again once I reached the final...I’m very happy.”

Both finals were packed out on the first day of the tournament in the co-host city of Palembang, with competitors having to block out the blaring pop music and cheers and cries from excited onlookers.

China is the dominant force at the Asian Games after topping the medal table in every edition of the Regional Olympics since 1982.