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Jaspal Rana fires India to double gold
December 08, 2006 15:30 IST
Last Updated: December 08, 2006 18:15 IST
Pistol ace Jaspal Rana set the Lusail shooting range ablaze by claiming two gold medals in the 25m centre fire pistol event to provide a late surge in India's medal hunt as the shooting competitions at the 15th Asian Games drew to a close.
The 30-year-old Rana, who virtually came out of oblivion to claim the men's 25 m standard pistol event on Thursday, clinched the individual honour on Friday with a world record-equalling score of 590, which also helped India win the yellow metal in the team event.
The Delhi marksman equalled the world record mark of 590 points held by seven other shooters. He was three points ahead of silver medallist China's Liu Gouhui.
The ace shooter displayed the same awesome form shooting 294 in the precision round and 296 in the rapid segment.
His stunning performance helped the team comprising Vijay Kumar (580) and Samresh Jung (578) to clinch the gold with a total of 1748 points.
Jaspal, who had not set the world on fire after shooting into limelight by winning a gold medal in the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games, redeemed his career with his scintillating performance which are sure to silence his critics.
With the addition of two more gold medals, India completed their shooting engaments with a rich haul of three gold, five silver and six bronze medals -- a vastly improved performance considering that the team won just two silver medals in the last edition of the Games in Busan.
"I am happy with the overall performance of the shooters. The medals we got is more than our expectation. I think Jaspal was brilliant today and full credit to him for this display," Indian coach Sunny Thomas said.
"I had requested Jaspal to come back and take part in his events. I had full faith in his abilities and he has justified that," he said.
"Though the centre fire is not an Olympic event, it is an Asian and world championship event and it is good that we have won the team event with an emphatic margin of 10 points," he added.
Liu (587) took the silver while Thailand's Jakkrit Panichpatikum had to be content with the bronze medal with 586 points.
In the team event, Korea took the silver medal with a total of 1738 while the bronze went to China who recorded a total score of 1735.
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