Asian Games: Ramita the star of the day with silver and bronze as Indian shooters start well in Hangzhou
Hangzhou: A comparatively bad score of 9.9 on the 16th turn put paid to the hopes of young Indian shooter Ramita Jindal as the 19-year-old had to be satisfied with a bronze medal in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Individual section at the 19th Asian Games shooting competition here on Sunday.
Ramita, who was sharing the second spot at that time slipped down and though she shot scores of 10.0, 10.5, 10.7, 10.8, 10,7, and 10.4 after that and managed to win the bronze medal with a score of 230.1. China’s Yuting Huang bagged the gold medal with an Asian Games record score of 252.7 while her compatriot Jiayu Han claimed the silver with a score of 251.3.
However, it was a good day for India as the shooters made a fine start by winning silver and bronze medals on the first day of competitions.
India started their quest for medals in the Asian Games shooting competition with young woman shooter Ramita playing the lead role in winning two medals — a silver in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Team competition and a bronze in the 10m Air Rifle Individual section.
Ramita with teammates Mehuli Ghosh and Ashi Chouksey finished second behind China, who had a total of 1896.6 while Mongolia took the bronze medal with a score of 1880.0. China stormed to the gold medal with a total of 1896.6.
Ramita came up with the best score of 631.9, Mehuli had a score of 630.0 and Ashi tallied 623.3 points to bag the silver medal in the event.
The focus on the first morning was on the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Individual event as two Indians had finished among the top eight in the qualifying round. Ramita was placed second, sandwiched between the two Chinese while Mehuli was fifth with the Chinese taking three of the first four spots.
After the first five shots in the final, Ramita was third with 52.7 and Mehuli fourth with 52.3, but the two Chinese were on top with Han Jiyau leading with 53.2. After 10 shots, Ramita was tied with two others in the second while Mehuli was down to sixth as Huang took over the lead with 105.3.
As Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chi became the first to be eliminated after the 12th shot, Ramita and Mehuli were placed third and fourth with the Korean Lee Eunseo moving up to second behind Huang. The two Mongolians were next to bow out and after the 18th, Mehuli went into a shoot-off with Lee as Ramita held third spot behind the two Chinese.
Mehuli won the shoot-off with a 10.3 to Lee’s 10.1 and India were assured of a second shooting medal on the day. Thereafter, Ramita held on for third as Mehuli bowed out in fourth after the 20th shot. Ramita’s quest for silver was cut short by Han after the 22nd shot by a margin of just 0.3 points.
Ramita refused to blame the 9.9 score for her missing a chance to fight for the silver medal.
“It is part of the game. You can’t think too much about one bad shot and rather focus on your one. I did just that after that bad shot and I am happy to win my first medal in the senior category,” said Ramita after her victory. She said she just did her regular process and focused on the next shot to recover.
She was very happy with her performance as it was her first medal at the senior level.
“It was the best result of my career, my first senior medal in shooting. I prepared very well, and I really enjoyed it. “I was 14 when I began. There are no other shooters in the family but I took it up because my father’s friend told me, ‘Have a try and see what happens’. So I started for fun and I really enjoyed it.”
Ramita, who took to shooting at the age of 14 when a friend of her father introduced the sport to her, said she will now focus on the upcoming Asian Championship where she will get a chance to win a quota place for Paris Olympics. Though the Baku World Cup last month was Ramita’s first international event at the senior level, the young shooter, who has won gold in the Junior World Championships for India, said she was very happy to have won two medals on the first day of competition.
Though the 19-year-old said she aimed to go for a medal in the Los Angeles Olympics but she will try to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
“I’m focusing on LA (the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games) on a long-term project but I am preparing for Paris also.”
The Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol had its first qualification day on Sunday. India’s Anish was lying sixth and within the qualifying spot, after the precision round with a score of 292. Chinese world champion Li Yuehong was leading with a score of 296. Vijayveer Sidhu and Adarsh were further back with scores of 289 and 287 respectively.
The competition will continue on Monday with the second phase followed by the final.