In an event where India’s Saurabh Chaudhary owns the Asian Games record, Indian shooters faltered to finish fourth and eighth respectively, but not before combining to add yet another team gold, this time in the 10m air pistol, from the ranges to the country’s medal tally.
Sarabjot Singh, Arjun Singh Cheema and Shiva Narwal combined to score 1734 points to finish on top, just one point ahead of host China and four away from third-placed Vietnam.
Like in several other events, it was a brilliant fightback from the Indians, who all required a series of 10s on their final shots to keep China at bay, and they managed to come up with the goods. That all three were placed low down the order with scores of 92 and 95 for Narwal and Sarabjot, respectively in the opening round only made the comeback more special.
“It is an unexpected gold, to be very honest. But it is my first Asian Games so getting a medal, that to gold, is very special. We are like brothers, competitive on the range and close out of it so doing this with them feels really nice,” Sarabjot said.
The 21-year-old from Chandigarh, who also finished 4th in the individual event – he was one of two Indians in the individual final, along with Cheema – admitted he was disappointed with the individual performance but for someone shooting at less than 100 per cent fitness, it was a creditable outing.
“I am not satisfied with the fourth position but I will work on my process. I have an impingement injury in my right shoulder, which is my shooting hand, that I got while shooting in February. I need rehab and gym workout, but it’s not serious, the doctor has said it will be fixed by the competition, which will be the Asian Shooting Championships (October),” he added.
Chaudhary shot 240.7 in Jakarta five years back for the Games record, while Vietnam’s Quang Huy Pham took gold with 240.5 points. Sarabjot shot 199.
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