PARTING SHOT Abhinav Bindra shoots gold as he bids adieu to Commonwealth Games Sixteen- year- old unheralded teenager Malaika bags silver in 10m Air Pistol
The 31- year- old Bindra kept his nerve to take the honour in his favourite 10 m air rifle event with a final games record score of 205.3 to bring cheers for the Indian contingent. The 16- year- old Malaika Goel gave India their first shooting medal with silver in the women's 10m Air Pistol event while favourite Heena Sidhu fell by the wayside at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre at Dundee.
With the addition of two more medals from the shooting ranges, India's overall medals tally climbed to 9 after collecting seven medals on the opening day. India were placed fourth on the medals table with a tally of 3 gold, 4 silver and two bronze behind toppers England ( 18), Australia ( 15) and Scotland ( 10).
It was Bindra's first individual gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. He had won the pairs gold in Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006) and in front of the home crowd in New Delhi four years ago.
“This is my last Commonwealth Games. Five CWG and nine medals, it is enough for me," Bindra said while speaking to Indian journalists. “It was a well- earned medal because I work hard and I am happy to have achieved the feat. I got the desired result." Asked if Rio 2016 would be his last Olympics, he said, “I will take one thing at a time. I will decide later." He joked that after retirement he would take up journalism as career.
“Journalism is an easy job; I may become a journalist after my shooting career." Bindra said he would now focus to the World Championships to be held in a few months time. “I will relax relax a bit and then prepare for the World Cup," said the 31- year- old Bindra who won India's first individual Olympic medal by winning the 10m Air Rifle event in 2008 Beijing Games.
Bindra felt sorry for compoatiot Ravi Kumar who missed out on a bronze in a shoot- off after leading the competition till the halfway. " Ravi is a talented shooter. His future is bright and he will do well for the country. I have not spoken to him after the event but definitely I will speak to him and encourage him," said Bindra, who trailed the second series of the elimination stage behind Ravi.
Ravi dropped his head in disappointment after conceding lead to Bindra as he could only manage 9.4 to Rivers' 9.6 in the single shot shoot- off for the bronze. Egged on by the strong Indian team contingent and a few others from among the crowd, who clapped inside the range every time he fired his shot, Bindra had just four below- 10 scores out of 20 final round shots. He jumped to the top spot after the third series of the elimination round and then opened up a gap of 2.5 points at the end of the penultimate round before running away with the title in style by beating Baki of Bangladesh by 3.2 points in the end.
In the women's section, Goel shot an aggregate of 197.1 in the finals to finish second and grab her first senior international medal. Former world number one and a pre- competition favourite Heena Sindhu finished a disappointing seventh after topping the qualifications. She was the second shooter to be eliminated in the eight- women field in the final round.
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