Bindra shoots gold

It was a flawless performance by the reigning Asian and Commonwealth Games champion, as the 32-year-old marksman shot 208.3 in the final to beat Yuriy Yurkov of Kazakhstan by 1.6 points.

Gold finger... “I would have been sad, had I not won,” said Abhinav Bindra after winning the air rifle gold in the Asian Air Gun Championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Sunday.   -  PTI

Former World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra asserted his class by winning the air rifle gold with a majestic performance in the eighth Asian Air Gun Championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Sunday.

It was a flawless performance by the reigning Asian and Commonwealth Games champion, as the 32-year-old marksman shot 208.3 in the final to beat Yuriy Yurkov of Kazakhstan by 1.6 points. Earlier, Bindra had qualified on top with a total of 627.9.

Not the one to express his happiness very easily, Bindra punched the air to celebrate after his last shot of 10.4 put the issue beyond the Kazakh.

“I would have been sad, had I not won,” said Bindra on a day when two other Indians in the fray, London Games bronze medallist Gagan Narang and Chain Singh, quite focused in the 50-metre rifle events, slipped out of the medal bracket.

“It is good to go through competition,” said Bindra, who could have shot a better qualification but for a nine on the last shot.

Being in his training phase, Bindra, who will be celebrating his birthday on Monday, said that he tried a few things and needed to do a lot more. It was already time for celebration in the family, as his father Dr. A. S. Bindra made it a point to watch him in action at the venue, and congratulated him on his victory.

Bindra in collaboration with Gagan Narang and Chain Singh had little difficulty in winning the team gold, ahead of Korea. It was a bonus for the patriotic people, who thronged the stands, as the National Anthem was played twice after a faux pas that saw only the Indian flag going up the first time. In fact, the Korean flag was not even there when the team had won the only medal in the youth section in the morning.

The Indian challenge got off to a flying start as Satyajeet Kandhol, a Standard XII student of DAV Public School, Panipat, fought his way to the gold in his maiden international competition, in the youth section.

Pratik Borse tried to maintain the golden run, but faltered in the climax of the junior section and was beaten to the gold by 1.5 points by Mohammed Hossein Karim of Iran.

It was a memorable day for the host, and Bindra put the icing on the cake with a classy fare. It could not have been better for the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), which had invested heavily in the “live” telecast of the four-day event on StarSports.

The results:

10m air rifle – Men: 1. Abhinav Bindra 208.3 (627.8); 2. Yuriy Yurkov (Kaz) 206.7 (619.2); 3. Yu Jechul (Kor) 185.3 (621.5); 4. Gagan Narang 164.5 (622.6); 6. Chain Singh 122.7 (618.1). MQS: Imran Hasan Khan 616.7.

Team: 1. India 1868.6; 2. Korea 1859.1; 3. Saudi Arabia 1824.8.

Juniors: 1. Mohammed Hossein Karim (Iran) 205.4 (626.4); 2. Pratik Borse 203.9 (618.2); 3. Han Changhee (Kor) 183.2 (615.3); 4. Prashant Tanwar 162.0 (623.5); 6. Akhil Sheoran 120.8 (614.7). MQS: Ekambir Singh Mandi 618.0; Tushar Jain 611.1.

Team: 1. Iran 1857.2; 2. India 1856.4; 3. Korea 1835.5.

Youth: 1. Satyajeet Kandhol 204.8 (612.8); 2. Lu Shao-Chuan (Tpe) 203.7 (623.4); 3. Abbassali Daavoud Abadi (Iran) 183.8 (610.4); 6. Mithlesh Babu 120.3 (609.8); 11. Gajendra Rai 606.1. MQS: Diwakar Yadav 613.0; Nikhil Balakrishnan 612.0.

Team: 1. Korea 1849.3; 2. India 1827.7.