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Samra steals show with Gold as Indian shooters dominate

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Hangzhou, Sept 27 (PTI) Young star Sift Kaur Samra stole the show with a gold medal in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position event as Indian shooters set the range ablaze by securing as many as seven medals at the Asian Games here on Wednesday.

In the same event, Ashi Chouksey, who was in contention for a silver, settled for bronze with a score of 451.9, while Esha Singh claimed silver in the women’s 25m pistol event with a total of 34.

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On her way to silver, Esha upstaged her senior Manu Bhaker who finished a disappointing fifth after topping the qualification.

Samra produced some excellent shooting to claim the yellow metal with a world and games record score of 469.6. She also became the first Indian shooter to win gold in rifle 3 position.

Earlier, the triumvirate of Bhaker, Esha and Rhythm Sangwan fired in tandem to shoot the gold medal in the women’s 25m pistol team event, as Indian shooters dominated proceedings at the Hangzhou Shooting Range Hall.

In the day’s last shooting final, Anant Jeet Singh Naruka claimed the silver medal in men’s skeet event, adding to the team bronze he won alongside Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Gurjoat Khangura.

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Naruka finished his last round with 10/10 to end his event with an impressive 58/60 but it was still not good enough for gold as Kuwait’s Abdullah Alrashidi equalled the world record with a perfect 60/60 to finish on top of the podium.

Nasser Al-Attiya of Qatar bagged the bronze with 46.

Manu, Esha and Rhythm totalled 1759 to finish on top of the podium and help the country clinch its fourth gold medal in the ongoing sporting extravaganza. This was the second gold medal for India in shooting in these Games.

Meanwhile, the Indian team of Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Gurjoat Khangura and Anant Jeet Singh Naruka bagged the team bronze medal in the men’s skeet event.

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The trio shot a total of 355 to settle for the third position. The hosts China won the gold medal while Qatar claimed the silver.

The Indian women’s team, however, crashed out of the skeet event by finishing in the fourth position behind Kazakhstan, China and Thailand.

In the women’s 3P event, host nation China’s Qiongyue Zhang crashed what could have been an India one-two, by winning the silver with a score of 462.3.

Before her triumph in the final, Samra broke the Asian Games record in qualification with a total score of 594 (out of 600) along with China’s Xia Siyu, who finished on top by virtue of higher inner 10 scores (closer to the centre of the target.)

Chouksey had a total of 590 and qualified in sixth position. Manini Kaushik finished 18th with a score of 580.

The trio of Samra, Chouksey and Manini claimed the team silver in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position event with a total score of 1764 in the qualification.

In the pistol qualification, Manu topped the qualification after finishing the last rapid-fire series with 98.

In the women’s 25m pistol, the Chinese bagged the team silver with 1756, while the shooters from South Korea settled for the third position with 1742.

They claimed the top prize minutes after the trio of Chouksey, Manini and Samra combined to shoot a total of 1764 points in the qualification and finish second on the podium in women’s 50m rifle 3 position event.

Hosts China won the gold with an aggregate score of 1773, while South Korea bagged the bronze with a total score of 1756.

Samra and Chouksey qualified for the finals as well by finishing second and sixth respectively, while Kaushik bowed out in the individual event by finishing 18th.

While Kaushik missed out on the final, Samra shot 100 in two series to finish with a total of 397 after kneeling and prone positions.

Samra and Chouksey were excellent in their three series, more so in standing section, to finish in the top 8 and qualify for the individual final.

In the women’s 25m pistol, while Manu topped the qualification round, Esha (586) finished fifth.

Rhythm (583) ended seventh but since only two shooters per country are allowed in the final, she missed the cut.

In the 25m range, the 18-year-old Esha shot 34 to settle for the second place, while China’s Rui Liu won the gold medal with a games record score of 38. South Korea’s Jiin Yang ended with bronze after shooting 29.

On her way to gold, Rui Liu broke the record held by India’s Rahi Sarnobat (34).

In the gold medal contest, Esha missed three out of her five shots, while the Chinese missed the target only once to emerge victorious.

Esha’s medal was India’s 10th in shooting here, bettering the 2018 edition of nine medals.

Meanwhile, there was an unusually long delay in the final because of a missing shot of the Korean shooter, leaving the judges to inspect the target and the back-up target to see if the shooter actually missed the target or failed to register.

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