Dhanush Srikanth of Telangana clinched the under-21 air rifle gold with a dominant performance from start to end in the Khelo India Youth Games at the Balewadi Complex on Friday.
Dhanush, who is hearing and speech-impaired, shot like a monk for an all-10 sequence of 24 shots in the final.
"I wanted to shoot 10.7 every shot’’, conveyed Dhanush through his mind trainer Kirtika Pandey.
Dhanush, groomed by 'Gun for Glory' shooting academy and coached by Neha Chavan, is a second degree Dan in taekwondo and was really energetic with his approach and stayed focused on the technique, in delivering 84 classy shots through the day. He nearly had a 10.5 average in qualification.
In a thriller, Avinash Yadav came out of obscurity to clinch gold on the last shot with a 0.2 margin victory in the men’s under-17 air rifle event. He finished above one of the emerging forces in Indian shooting, Divyansh Singh Panwar.
Having qualified with 618.8, a clear 11.1 point behind leader Yash Vardhan who eventually too the bronze, Avinash did not draw much attention. In the final, however, he stayed close to Divyansh of Rajasthan who is all set to make the national team for the World Cup in New Delhi next month.
Divyansh had a 0.7 point lead before the last two shots. Divyansh faltered with a 9.7 and Avinash scored 10.4 to knock off the deficit. In the last shot, Avinash shot quick to score a 10.4 and pipped Divyansh whose patient effort only fetched a 10.2.
Yash Vardhan had squeezed his way to the bronze, by 0.1 point ahead of Keval Prajapati who earlier had to win a shoot-off to progress past Vishnu Shivaraj Pandian.
Meanwhile, in men’s trap, Asian Games silver medallist Lakshay Sheoran led with 74 out of 75 at the half way stage, ahead of Aman Ali Elahi (71), Anwer Hasan Khan (70), Bhowneesh Mendiratta and Manavaditya
Singh Rathore (69).
In women’s trap, Manisha Keer led with 68, ahead of Soumya Gupta (66), Aadya Tripathi (65) and Ayesha Khan (64).