Rahi Sarnobat, a class act in finals

In becoming the first Indian woman shooter ever to win the Asian Games gold, the 27-year-old Rahi revealed her ability to hit 10.2 or better repeatedly.

Rahi Sarnobat strikes a pose after winning the gold medal.   -  PTI

Rahi Sarnobat, when competing in the final, can find the bull’s eye more often than not.

In becoming the first Indian woman shooter ever to win the Asian Games gold, the 27-year-old Rahi revealed her ability to hit 10.2 or better repeatedly.

The viewers may only see a hit or miss, with each shot in the final shot rapidly in a sequence of five, but the demand is for accuracy under acute time-pressure.

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It has been a topsy-turvy career for the soft-spoken girl from Solhapur, who had qualified for the London Olympics in dramatic style.

In the old format, when the qualifying score counted in the final, a seventh-placed Rahi, rose brilliantly to bag the bronze with a 207.7 from 20 shots in the final in the World Cup in Fort Benning in 2011.

It was almost an average 10.4 every shot, which fetched her one of the two Olympic quota places then.

Catching the eye

After her individual silver and pairs gold with Anisa Sayyed in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, the shooting circles came to know that there was a young champion waiting to take wings.

Rahi placed 19th in the London Olympics with 579, but won the World Cup gold in Changwon the next year. She went on to bag the individual gold in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

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However, an injured shooting arm, and later the death of her coach Anatolii Piddubnyi proved to be speed breakers in Rahi’s shining career.

She did not make the team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but worked her way, with the guidance of coach Ronak Pandit, to top the averages and ensure her place for both the Asian Games and the World Championships, which would offer the first set of Olympic quota places for Tokyo.