India won their fourth gold of the Hangzhou Asian Games as the trio of Manu Bhaker, Esha Singh and Ridham Sangwan won the women’s 25m pistol team on Wednesday. India now has a total of sixteen medals, seven of which were contributed by shooting.
Manu and Esha have also qualified for the individual finals for another two-India shooting final to be held today at 12 noon.
Manu, who holds the Asian Games record for qualifying in the last edition in 2018, topped the charts with a score of 590 (28x inside 10 seconds). Esha was fifth with a score of 586 (17x) but Ridham Sangwan, the world record holder in qualifying, missed out after finishing seventh. Regardless, the rules allow only two shooters per country to compete in the finals.
In the team event, which is calculated based on the cumulative score of a country’s shooters in qualification, India was ahead of China for the entire two days. The women’s 25 pistol qualification is divided into precision and rapid stages, spread over two days.
After the first stage of qualification (accuracy) on Tuesday, India lead China by 2-points. Leading the charge was Manu, who qualified individually with 294 (14x), while Esha was joint second with China’s Feng Sixuan on 292 (9x). Rhythm, meanwhile, finished 11th at that stage with 290 (6x).
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On Wednesday, Esha and Chand shot in the first relay to put India on top, maintaining a 2-point lead.
Manu, who led the team after the first phase, then came in and sealed the gold with clutch shooting, known for his prowess, shooting 296 out of 300.
Manu missed out on a medal in the last Asian Games, when he was just 16, and he hopes to rectify that this time. He has been through a roller coaster but a medal here will make it all worth it. Esha, who won a mixed team gold at the World Championships last month, also has a chance to win an individual medal.
In the finals, the scoring system will go from the AA point-based system to a hit-or-miss system where 10.2 or more shots will count as hits. The finals begin with a series of four five shots after which the shooter with the lowest total is eliminated.