| London: Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra, who Monday failed to defend his gold medal in the 10 metres air rifle event, hoped his compatriot Gagan Narang will bag an Olympic medal here Monday.
Narang qualified for the final round finishing third with 598 points while Bindra, India`s only individual Olympic gold medallist, shot 594 to finish 16th out of 47 contestants.
Narang fell two short of his world record score of 600. In fact, Narang is the only shooter to have shot a possible 600 twice.
"I would like to wish Gagan the very best. He shot an excellent qualifying round, think he will do very well in the final," Bindra, Beijing Olympics gold medallist, told reporters at the Royal Artillery Barracks here.
Asked about his performance, Bindra said: "Time was running out and I had to take some risks. Needed a little luck for some shots and I didn`t get it. I am disappointed, but love the sport, love shooting so am sure I`ll continue. I think I did a reasonable job. I could have retired on a high after the Bejing gold but that would have been the easy way out."
"I am glad I had the courage to come back and try again even though I have failed. I will still go away from London Olympics having learnt a lot," said the former World Champion.
Narang, who missed the final round in Beijing Games on a countback, was in his elements. The 29-year-old Hyderabadi shot perfect series of 100 in all the rounds except the third when he scored 98. He also shot 53 inner 10s.
Meanwhile, Bindra had just two series of perfect 100 in the third and the fourth round. He shot 99s in the first, second and fifth and faltered in the sixth, when he shot 97.
The top eight shooters qualified for the final round.
Narang has a strong chance of winning a medal as former Olympic champion and Beijing Games silver medallist Zhu Qinan of China also failed to qualify for the final round.
First Published: Monday, July 30, 2012, 16:54