Gagan bags gold in 10m air rifle event

Pune: Ace marksman Gagan Narang bagged gold in the 10m air rifle while reigning Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra finished eighth after skipping the final for which he had qualified at the 11th Kumar Surendra Singh Memorial Shooting Championship in the Balewadi Ranges on Friday.

Another top marksman Samaresh Jung bit the dust and finished outside the medal bracket in the 10m air pistol event which was won by Border Security Force`s Amit Kumar Pilaniya.

Delhi Commonwealth Games hero Narang of Air India grabbed the top spot in the air rifle competition with a total score of 693.6, including 100.6 in the final where he was upstaged by second-placed K Purushottam of Karnataka who shot 102.4 for an overall tally of 692.4.

The Hyderabad-based Narang`s qualifying score of 593, three better than Purushottam`s, helped him clinch the gold.

Navy`s Sanjeev Rajput, who fired 591 in the qualifiers and then 101.0 in the final for a tally of 692.0 took the third spot ahead of his teammate P T Raghunath (691.9) in a close contest.

Bindra`s no show at the eight-man final round prevented an eagerly anticipated showdown with world record holder Narang.

After firing 592, just one short of Narang`s score in the preliminaries, the Beijing Olympic gold medallist did not take part in the final.