Pooja Ghatkar made India proud after she clinched the gold medal amidst tough competition in the women’s air rifle at the seventh Asian Air Gun Championship in Kuwait City on Sunday.
Pooja scored an impressive 208.8 in the final to beat Du Bei of China by 1.6 points. The Pune girl, who had led the Chinese by one point after 18 shots, held her nerve towards the final stretch as she notched consecutive scores of 10.7 in the final two rounds to narrowly secure the championship.
Reigning World, Olympic and Asian Games champion Yi Siling of China could manage only third place.
The 25-year-old Pooja, who had finished second to Mampi Das in the last national championship, and qualified only in seventh place with a score of 413.1 yesterday. But she turned all of it around with a brilliant performance in the final.
Former national champion Apurvi Chandela narrowly missed qualification for the final by 0.4 point.
In the team event, the Indian women grabbed the bronze medal; China won the gold easily, and Mongolia bagged the silver.
In men’s air pistol, the Chinese dominated with a clean sweep of all three medals. Samaresh Jung and Prakash Nanjappa made the final, while Jitu Rai missed the final by one point.
In the team event the Indian men won the silver behind China, who yet again showed their class by equalling the world record of 1759.
Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra congratulated Pooja on her achievement via a message he posted on Twitter, which can be seen below: