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Asian Games 2018: Sarnobat wins gold in 25m Air pistol final

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Rahi Sarnobat became the first Indian female shooter to win the gold medal at the Asian Games on Wednesday.

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Sarnobat kept herself composed and surpassed Naphasawan Yangpaiboon of Thailand in a thrilling battle in the 25m Air pistol final where both were tied at 34  points after a series of five shots each. The contest then headed towards a shoot-off where both were on target four times. It took another shoot-off to decide the winner between the two and fittingly, it was Rahi who found the target three times as compared to Naphasawan’s two, thus handing the Kohlapur-born shooter the gold medal, which is India’s fourth in the ongoing competition.

South Korea’s Kim Minjung won the bronze medal.  Rahi put up a quality show in the final where she was ahead of her Thai opponent for a good part with her first 10 shots on target. With this victory, Rahi became the second athlete from the shooting contingent to win a gold after 16-year old Saurabh Chaudhary had achieved the feat in the 10m pistol final. Her score of 34  equals the record score in the final at the Asian Games.

She also becomes the sixth Indian shooter to win a gold medal at the Asian Games and is now a part of a list which features Chaudhary, Randhir Singh, Jaspal Rana, Jitu Rai and Ronjan Sodhi.

The 16-year old Manu Bhaker finished sixth in the finals. Earlier in the day, she put up a good performance where she shot 593 which is equal to the Games record in the qualification rounds.

Rahi has advanced to the finals at the seventh place with a score of 580.

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