India’s Deepak Kumar produced a late surge to steal a silver in the men’s 10m rifle event at the Asian Games, giving the shooting contingent its second medal here.
China’s defending champion Yang Haoran was a cut above the rest, winning the gold with an aggregate of 249.1.
Deepak, who was not in the race for a medal until the 18th shot when he produced a perfect 10.9, earned his maiden Asian Games medal with 247.7, pushing Taipei’s Lu Shaochuan to third with 226.8 in the 24-shot final.
Ravi Kumar, who had won a mixed team bronze alongside Apurvi Chandela on Sunday, was unlucky to miss out on a medal. He was eliminated after the 20th shot, scoring 205.2.
Chandela bows out
Shooter Chandela, meanwhile, bowed out of the women’s 10m Air Rifle finals as she finished fifth in the category.
Despite a great start as Apurvi was once placed third, the 25-year-old shooter faltered towards the end and could manage to shoot only 186 points to finish fifth.
Major individual medal
For the Delhi-based Deepak, it was his first major individual medal, after having won a World Cup in mixed team event alongside Mehuli Ghosh in Guadalajara earlier this year.
A medal from a highly competitive field is a promising result but still there is a long way to go before the current crop can match the performances by Olympic medallists Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang.
Deepak and Ravi had finished fourth and fifth in the 60-shot classification held earlier on Monday. The top eight qualify for the finals.
Late in the finals, Deepak shot a perfect 10.9 to dislodge his Air Force mate Ravi before producing a 10.8 to pip the Taipei shooter.
Giving a peek into his state of mind while he was trailing for major part of the finals, Deepak said he just thought about what his coach Manoj Kumar would say.
“I was trailing also in the qualification. I just thought about his words. He often says ‘you have the potential and you know your limits’ Starting was not good, the middle was worse. So I just tried to stay calm,” the 30-year-old said.AGENCIES
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