India bags fifth gold in shooting at Asian Games, women's team strikes silver

09:37 AM Sep 29, 2023 | PTI |

Trailblazing Indian shooters gave another power-packed performance here, clinching a gold medal in men’s 50m rifle three-positions team event with a world record score, while the Esha Singh-led women’s 10m air pistol trio bagged a silver at the Asian Games on Friday.


India’s dream run in the shooting arena at the continental showpiece has so far fetched them a record 15 medals — five of them gold — and the success story will likely continue over the next couple of days as well.

The men’s 50m rifle 3-positions team, comprising the young trio of Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (591), Swapnil Kusale (591) and Akhil Sheoran (587), overcame the Chinese challenge with ease with a world record score of 1769 to take the top podium finish, while the hosts were a clear six points adrift with 1763 points.

South Korea was a distant third with 1748 points.

The men’s trio smashed the world record by a whopping eight points.


Aishwary and Swapnil shot superbly to make the individual finals as well and are placed first and second after the qualification round, something never ever seen before in a sport dominated by the Chinese at the Asian level.

The third Indian in the competition, Akhil, despite finishing fifth with 587 in qualification, will miss out on the eight-team finals as only two shooters per country are allowed in the individual medal round.

Swapnil, one of the medal prospects at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, was firing on all cylinders shooting down the qualification Asian and Asian Games record on way to a superb 591.

Not to be left behind, Aishwary too shoot an identical score to be tied with Swapnil but entered the finals, placed second because of fewer shots closer to the bulls eye (inner-10s). Swapnil had 33 ‘inner-10s’, while Aishwary had 27.

The two Chinese who made it to the finals — Du Linshu and Tian Jiaming — were placed third and fourth respectively behind the two young Indians.

Both Swapnil and Aishwary shot an average of 9.850 out of a maximum score of 10 on each of the shots in the qualification round in all three positions — kneeling, prone and standing, an incredible achievement, considering the pressure from the relentless Chinese.

In fact, Swapnil had a 199/200 in prone, while Aishwary had an identical score in kneeling position.

Esha leads from the front

Teenager Esha led from the front as she guided the Indian women’s 10m air pistol team to a silver medal.

The trio of 18-year-old Esha (579), Palak (577) and Divya TS (575) aggregated 1731 points for their silver medal, while China took the gold with a total of 1736, which is an Asian Games record.

Chinese Taipei finished with a bronze, totalling 1723.

Esha and Palak will also have a chance to win individual medals as they both made it to the eight-shooter final, placed fifth and seventh after the qualification round. Divya missed the cut, finishing 10th.

The scores in the qualification round decide the team medallists, while eight top-scoring shooters move into the finals to win individual glory.

Esha had also claimed a silver medal in the women’s individual 25m pistol event on Wednesday, while the trio of Manu Bhaker, Esha and Rhythm Sangwan had fired in tandem to shoot the gold medal in the women’s 25m pistol team event on the same day.


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