New Delhi: Shooter Dhanush Srikanth won the men’s 10m air rifle competition on day three of the ongoing 24th Deaflympics being held at Caxias do Sul in Brazil, and will be bringing him gold. With Srikanth’s victory, India kicked off a golden start at the games and Shourya Saini put the icing on India’s cake with a bronze, finishing behind Korea’s Kim Woo Rim in the eight-man final on Wednesday.
Dhanush shot 247.5, a finals world record score, to emerge triumphant as Kim fell short with 246.6, while Shourya finished third with 224.3.
Along with these two victories, the Indian badminton team also won gold beating Japan 3-1 in the final to make it a double celebration 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 were second and third respectively in the qualifications.
Gold medallist Dhanush hails from Telangana and trains at Gangan Narang’s academy in Hyderabad and under the guidance of the Olympic bronze medallist shooter, Dhanush produced a fine performance to win his career’s biggest prize at the Games.
Dhanush and Shourya, who were also helped by National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) coaches Anuja Jung and Priti Sharma for the marquee sporting event, shot well throughout the day to emerge as deserving medal winners.
Dhanush shot 623.3 in qualification to finish 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 march ahead.
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.
(with PTI inputs)