India’s woman shooter Rahi Sarnobat clinched a Gold medal for India in the women’s 25m pistol competition on Day 4 of the 18th Asian Games here on Wednesday (August 22) while Manu Bhaker finished sixth.27-year-old Sarnobat maintained the lead from the very beginning and finally prevailed over her Thai opponent in the gold medal round. Sarnobat showed great composure in skills under pressure situation as she trailed in the final shots round but came back strongly to level the scores and forced the game to enter in a tie-break.
In the shoot-off for gold Rahi edged Yangpaiboon Naphaswan of Thailand to clinch gold in the nail-biting finish. This is India’s fourth yellow metal with three from Shooting. While entire nation’s hopes were pinned on 16-year-old Manu, who topped the qualifying round with a Games record score of 593, Sarnobat left everyone behind in the finals. Rahi was seventh with 580 points in the qualifiers. Earlier in the qualifiers, Manu got 297 points in the three-series precision round, with scores of 99, 98 and 100 respectively. She scored 296 in the three-series rapid round, with scores of 100, 97 and 99 respectively. Manu’s total of 593 was eight points ahead of the second best performer, South Korean Minjung Kim.
However, 16-year-old Manu Baker, couldn’t carry on her form from the qualification, where she had scored a Games record of 593 points. The teenager finished fifth in the final with a score of 16 then. Sarnobat had started the final with a perfect score in her first two series and had her first miss in the 12th shot. She had led the field in the final till the penultimate series, where she had a poor run and fell to second. As the pressure mounted, it became more difficult to hit the target, but she recovered remarkable to get back on top, leveling scored against the Thai shooter. Sarnobat is among India’s most successful sport pistol shooters with back-to-back gold medals at the 2010 Delhi and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 25m pistol event. But even the 27-year-old hasn’t had the best of runs in the last couple of years after a shoulder injury kept her out of the game for over a year and she struggled with her form since then. But this Asiad gold is sure to be a huge boost.