Indian shooting ace Abhinav Bindra today bid adieu to Asian Games by clinching the individual bronze medal in men’s 10-m air rifle event after guiding the team to a third-place finish on the fourth day of competitions.
Before winning the individual bronze, Bindra teamed up with Sanjeev Rajput and Ravi Kumar to finish third on the podium, helping India swell their medals tally to eight in the 17th edition of the mega-event.
He finished third in 10m air rifle men’s finals behind China’s Haoran Yang and Yifei Cao to bag the bronze. Bindra aggregated 187.1 points while his Chinese opponents, 18-year-old Haoran won gold with 209.6 points and Yifei bagged silver with 208.9.
Bindra had created a flutter by stating that today’s event would be his last in professional shooting.
Bindra led the field till the first twelve shots before slipping to the fifth place and was saved from being ousted after a poor performance by Pourya Norouziyan of Iran and his scores of 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7.
Earlier, the Beijing Olympic gold medallist fired India to the men’s team bronze in the 10m air rifle event while booking his berth in the eight-man finals with the fifth-best score in the qualifications.
The Indian team that comprised of Bindra, Kumar and Rajput tallied 1863 to finish third behind gold medal winners – China 1886.4 and South Korea (silver) at 1867.6.
Bindra tallied 625.4 points while Ravi Kumar contributed 618.9. Another veteran Rajput scored 618.7.
Bindra was shooting brilliantly after a modest beginning but for his two poor shots of 9.1 on the 55th and 9.7 on the 60th, he could only finish 5th in the qualification as fourth-placed Korean Kim Sengdo fared only marginally better at 626.1.
Bindra’s sequences after each set of 10 shots were: 102.6, 105.3, 104.5, 104.1, 105.7 ? during which period he was looking at peak form but for the sudden misfiring on the 55th shot and 103.2.
This was the fifth medal fetched from the Ongnyeon range by the shooters in these Games, comprising one gold and four bronze, men’s pistol shooter Jitu Rai’s title win being the standout performance.
The top three scores were notched up by Chinese shooters led by Cao Yifel (630.7), a new Games record.
In the individual list, Ravi Kumar finished 20th and Rajput stood one rung below to be eliminated.
Bindra, who was just outside the top eight after the first series, got into his groove later and after the fourth set of 10 shots, took a break to have a chat with rifle coach Stanislav Lapidus for a brief. He shot 10.9 on the 40th shot.