Narang shines in WC, Indians impress in Asian Clay Ch'ship
Kolkata: Olympic gold medallist marksman Abhinav Bindra took a sabbatical, while Gagan Narang's twin accolades in ISSF World Cup and remarkable performance by the Indians in Asian Clay Shooting Championship were highlights of an eventful year gone by.
Narang, who had failed to enter Beijing Olympic final last year, gave Indian shooting plenty to rejoice when the Hyderabadi created history by becoming the first Indian to bag World Cup gold in 50 metre rifle in April at Changwon, Korea.
The 26-year-old shooter also became the first Indian to claim two medals in a single ISSF World Cup ?- the other being a bronze in his pet 10m air-rifle event -? and also to enter the finals of all the three events, including the free rifle prone.
Although Narang could not carry on the rhythm and failed to manage a medal in subsequent World Cup in Beijing, Indians returned with two silvers through Vijay Kumar (25m rapid fire pistol) and Heena Sidhu (10m pistol women).
However, Narang finished the year on a smiling note by signing off with a double gold -- individual as well as team -- at the Asian Air Gun Shooting Championships in Doha.
The Indian Airlines employee shot an impressive 597, including a series of 99, 99, 100, 100, 100 and 99 in qualifying stage and then followed it with a final score of 104.0 to register a total of 701.0 to beat Beijing Olympic silver medallist Zhu Qinan of China (700.7) en route to gold.