IMAGE: Abhinav Deshwal celebrates winning the gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol title at the 24th Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil. Photograph: NRAI/Twitter
India won its second gold medal in shooting at the 24th Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil with Abhinav Deshwal claiming the men’s 10m air pistol title.
The 15-year-old from Roorkee, Uttarakhand, was tied with silver winning Ukranian Oleksii Lazebnyk at 234.2 points apiece at the end of the 24-shot final, before winning gold in a shoot-off where he shot a 10.3 to his opponent’s 9.7.
Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Ming-Jui won the bronze.
Abhinav made the top eight final round after finishing second in the 60-shot qualification round with a score of 575 out of 600. He was tied on points there too with Kim Kihyeon, but the Korean topped on account of more inner 10s.
Shubham Vashist, the second Indian in the field, also made it to the finals, finishing sixth with a score of 563. He bowed out in the same position in the finals as well.
It wasn’t all easy going for Abhinav in the finals as he started slowly. He was fifth after the first five-shot series and moved up to fourth after 10 shots.
He, however, displayed great consistency and fight to string together some good scores as the single shots began and slowly climbed up the ladder, eventually catching up with Oleksii who had maintained a top-two position throughout the final.
Going into the final two shots, Abhinav was 0.6 behind Oleksii. He displayed nerves of steel to maintain high scores when it mattered the most even as Oleksii faltered, enabling the Indian to clinch the title.
India now has four medals from the shooting competition at the Deaflympics.
Dhanush Srikanth had won gold in the men’s 10m air rifle while Shourya Saini had claimed a bronze in the same event. Then on Thursday, Vedika Sharma had won a bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol.
India has sent 10 shooters in the 65-strong contingent for the Brazil Deaflympics.