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Bindra set to take last shot at Asian Games gold

September 22, 2014

INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — India’s top rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra confirmed on Monday that this will be his last shot at an Asian Games gold medal, although he is keeping his options open for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“Tomorrow will mark the end of my professional shooting life! I will however still shoot, compete as a hobby shooter training twice a week,” Bindra, who has also won gold at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Championships but never at the Asian Games, posted on Twitter.

“And yes I will still try to be at Rio and my bio is now most appropriate! Great times and am sure there will be a few more!” wrote 31-year-old Bindra, who is India’s only individual Olympic gold medalist.

His last outing in the continental games on Tuesday could also inspire other shooters to go for gold.

Pistol shooter Jitu Rai is so far the only Indian gold medalist at Incheon despite several shooters making the finals.

On Monday, the women shooters won a bronze in the 25-meter pistol team event through Heena Sidhu, Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayyed but an individual medal eluded it in both this event and the 10-meter air rifle.

“We were confident of a team medal and are happy with the bronze,” Sayyed said after winning her maiden Asian Games medal. “But the individual final was also important and we thought two of us should have been in the final.”

Sarnobat finished seventh in the pistol event but more disappointing was the result of the other individual finalist Ayonika Paul, who had the third best score in the preliminaries of the air rifle but also finished seventh in the final.

Paul, Raj Chaudhry and Apurvi Chandela finished fifth in the team event which was won by China with a new world record of 1,253.8 points. The Chinese team, which shaved 0.1 points off the country’s own record set last year, included world No. 1 and London Olympics gold winner Yi Siling.

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