The 8th Asian Air-gun Championship began with a spectacular opening ceremony at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi on Friday. Guests from participating nations enjoyed themselves as a rock band performed and different groups presented colorful dance performances. 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist Gagan Narang took the athletes’ oath in the presence of the chief guest Bhutan’s Crown Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, who declared the competition open. The ceremony ended with impressive fireworks that illuminated the night sky above the picturesque shooting range. 14 Asian nations are participating in the competition with a total of 180 shooters. India has the largest contingent of 56 shooters in the senior, junior and youth categories.
On Sunday, September 27, 2015, Beijing Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra excelled in men’s 10m Air Rifle event to finish at the top of the pack. The 32-year-old Bindra, who brought the gold medal for India in the same event in 2008 Beijing Olympics, amassed 208.3 points ahead of Kazakhstan’s world no.8 Yurkov Yuriy and Korea’s Yu Jaechul . Yuriy won the silver with 206.6 points and Jaechul took the bronze with 185.3. Two other Indians; Gagan Narang and Chain Singh, who also took part in the same event, failed to impress. London Olympic bronze medalist Gagan Narang finished fourth with 164.5 while Chain Singh was sixth with 122.7.
As the event got underway, Gagan Narang began well and shot 10.6 and 10.6 in his first two attempts but fell behind later. Chain Singh disappointed as he was eliminated after a shoot-off with Korea’s Kim Dajin. But Bindra remained focused and consistent and kept leading the field from start to finish. After the event got concluded, Bindra said he had been training hard with the sole objective of producing his best performance. India’s rifle coach Stanislav Lapidus said he had no doubts about Bindra’s chances in the tournament. About Gagan Narang, Lapidus said he was not disappointed because Narang was preparing for the future. Incidentally, all three shooters; Bindra , Narang and Chain Singh have already qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
There was more good news as India also won the gold medal in the team event of 10m air rifle. The trio of Bindra, Narang and Chain Singh collected a total of 1868.6 points. The team silver medal went to the Korean team of Kim Dajin, Yu Jaechul and KIM Taegon while Saudi Arabia’s Mesfer Abound Alammari, Faiz Anazi Ali and Mubarak Mesfer Aldawsari got the bronze.
In the youth section, India’s Satyajeet Kandhol won the gold medal in the 10m air rifle with 204.8 points. Taiwan’s Shao-Chuan Lu with 203.7 points won the silver while Iran’s Daavoud Abadi bagged the bronze with 183.8 points. In the team event, Indian trio of Kandhol, Mithlesh and Gajendra Raj finished second to take the silver with an aggregate of 1827.7 points behind the gold winning Korean youth team.
In the junior section, Pratik Borse had to rest content with silver with 203.9 points behind Iran’s Mohammad Hossein Karimi, who shot 205.4. Korea’s Changhee Han took the bronze with 183.2 points. Pratik Borse won one more silver in the team event with Prashant and Akhil Sheoran behind Iran while the third place was taken by Korea.