Palembang (Indonesia), Aug 22 (IANS) Rahi Sarnobat scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman shooter to win a gold medal at the Asian Games as she prevailed in a nervy shoot-off in the 25m pistol competition here on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old got the better of Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon in a shoot-off after both shot a Games record score of 34 in the finals.
In the shoot-off, Rahi hit three while the Thai shooter missed three to settle for the silver medal as the Indian improved upon her bronze medal winning feat at the 2014 edition.
Rahi started the finals proceedings on a great note as she led from start till the end of 40 shots in the final. After the first three series, the Indian shooter led the charts with a score of 14.
Maintaining her lead till the the end of six series, Rahi’s score read 25. However, she later faultered in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th series after score of 3, 2, 2 and 2 respectively where the two shooters found themselves tied at 34 points.
The tie resulted in a shoot-off where the Indian shooter, a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, fared better than the Thai opponent.
Meanhile, Japan’s Minjung Kim of Japan took the bronze medal after scoring 29.
Manu Bhaker, another Indian in the fray, finished sixth after a score of 16 as she exited after the seventh series.
It was surprising as Manu had earlier on Wednesday topped the qualifying round with a Games record score of 593, while Rahi was seventh with 580 points.
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 second best performer, South Korean Minjung Kim.
Rahi shot 97, 95, 96 for a total of 288 in the precision round. In the rapid round, she posted scores of 98, 96, 98 for a total of 292.
In the finals, Rahi showed her experience to come out with a successful performance from the beginning.
With Rahi’s medal, India’s gold medal count now stands at four. India now has 11 medals in total.