NEW DELHI: Dhanush Srikanth struck gold in the men's 10M Air Rifle competition on day three of the ongoing 24th Deaflympics 2021 at Caxias do Sul, Brazil, thereby ensuring a golden start to India's campaign at the Games.
Shourya Saini put the icing on India's cake with a bronze, finishing behind Korea's Kim Woo Rim in the eight-man final. Dhanush shot 247.5, a finals world record score, to emerge triumphant as Kim fell short with 246.6, while Shourya bowed out in third with 224.3.
Later the Indian badminton team also won gold beating Japan 3-1 in the final to make it a double gold day for the country. India is currently placed eighth on the medals table with two gold and one bronze medal. Ukraine tops the standings currently with 19 gold, six silver and 13 bronze medals.
Dhanush and Shourya, judiciously prepared by National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) coaches Anuja Jung and Priti Sharma for the marquee sporting event for the hearing impaired, shot well throughout the day to come away as deserving medal winners.
Dhanush shot 623.3 in qualification to come in behind Kim, who shot 625.1 to top the field. Shourya was third with 622.7 ensuring two Indians made it to the final stage.
In the final too, Kim began with a bang and was leading Dhanush till the 18th shot of the 24-shot final. The Indian found his bearings when the single shots began after the 10th shot and slowly but surely made-up lost ground to the Korean.
After going past Kim on the 18th shot, Dhanush never looked back and kept widening the gap, eventually leaving the Korean almost a point behind to seal victory. Shourya was third throughout the final and ensured a full return for the squad from the event.
India has sent 10 Shooters in their 65-strong contingent for the Brazil Deaflympics. It is their largest and youngest ever squad and will be participating in 11 sporting disciplines. In the previous 2017 edition India had finished with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals and so this is now already an improvement on that result. IANS
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