Hangzhou: India had a remarkable opening at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou today ( fourth day), securing top honours in the women’s shooting events. The day was marked by India’s prowess in precision and concentration, with the women’s 25-metre pistol team and the women’s 50-metre rifle 3-position team clinching gold and silver, respectively.
In a stunning display of marksmanship, the trio of Manu Bhaker, Esha Singh, and Rhythm Sangwan showcased their exceptional skills, seizing the gold medal in the women’s 25-metre pistol team event. Their collective effort resulted in a total score of 1759 after three series each in the precision and rapid rounds, surpassing the Chinese team by a mere three points. China, with a combined score of 1756, claimed the silver medal, while South Korea secured the bronze with a total score of 1742.
This victory marked India’s fourth gold at the Hangzhou Games, bringing their overall medal tally to an impressive 18. Prior to this, India had struck gold in the 10 metre air rifle shooting men’s team event, women’s cricket, and the dressage team event in equestrian sports.
Manu Bhaker, in addition to contributing to the team gold, also topped the qualification round for the individual event. She displayed exceptional precision and control, finishing the last rapid-fire series with a score of 98. Her total score after the precision and rapid stages stood at 590, with an impressive 28 inner 10s. Esha Singh, another stalwart in the Indian contingent, secured the fifth position with a score of 586 (17x). Both Manu and Esha qualified for the finals of the individual round in the same event, showcasing India’s dominance in women’s pistol shooting.
While the team medals were awarded based on cumulative scores from the individual rounds, Rhythm Sangwan’s exceptional performance, despite finishing 7th, couldn’t secure her an individual qualification. The rules permit only two shooters from each team to advance to the individual finals.
The women’s 25-metre pistol event consisted of two stages: precision and rapid. India’s dominance was apparent from the precision stage itself, where Manu Bhaker claimed the top spot and Esha Singh secured a joint second position in the individual rankings. Throughout the two-day event, India remained unchallenged at the top spot in team scores, leaving no room for their competitors to overtake them.
In a simultaneous display of excellence, another Indian trio-Ashi Chouksey, Manini Koushik, and Sift Kaur Samra-delivered an outstanding performance, securing a silver medal in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position event. Their collective score of 1764 points in the qualification round secured them a well-deserved second place on the podium.
Host China clinched the gold with an aggregate score of 1773, while South Korea settled for the bronze with a total score of 1756. Sift Kaur Samra and Ashi Chouksey, who finished second and sixth, respectively, in the qualification round, advanced to the finals of the individual event, further strengthening India’s presence on the international shooting stage. Manini Koushik, although exceptional, finished 18th in the individual event.
Sift Kaur Samra’s stellar performance culminated in a joint new Asian record for qualifying, scoring a total of 594 points, underscoring India’s burgeoning talent in the sport.
India’s medal tally now reads:
Total : 18
Medal tally of respective countries in Asian Games 2023 are as follows: