In a historic win at the ongoing Asian Games, Rahi Sarnobat clinched a gold medal in the 25m pistol event a few days ago. With this win, she became the first Indian woman to win gold in the history of Asian Games. Rahi is the second Indian shooter to bag gold after the 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary won gold at the 10m air pistol event in Asia Games 2018.
In an interesting turn of events, Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon matched up to Rahi’s score of 34, which was a game record. Both the players had scored 34 points in the following 10 series of five shots each. To take the final call at the end for declaring the winner, a shoot-off was held. The final shoot-off was held with five shots given to each shooter. Rahi and Naphaswan shot the target four times and ended in a draw again, which led to the second shoot-off of five shots. This time Rahi created history as she shot three and Naphaswan two, says The Hindu.
Rahi who hails from Kolhapur, Maharashtra is 27 years old. She is the sixth Indian to date to win gold at the Asian Games. Before her, shooters like Saurabh Chaudhary, Jaspal Rana, Randhir Singh, Jitu Rai, and Ranjhan Sodhi walked out with a gold.
Previously, Rahi has won two gold medals in 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. In the 2014 Incheon Asian Games she won bronze in the 25m pistol pairs event. In the year 2013, Rahi became the first Indian to win gold at ISSF (International Shooting Sports Federation) World Cup.
In 2017, Rahi had an elbow injury, due to which she had to change her shooting technique for this year’s Asian Games. For the changes required in her shooting technique, she roped in Munkhbayar Dorjsuren. Munkbhayar is a two-time world champion shooter and an Olympic medalist from Germany, says NDTV.
Speaking to PTI, Munkhbayar, Rahi’s coach said,
I had to change her technique and I also worked [with] her a lot on the mental aspect of the game. She was already a high-level shooter and needed some tweak in her game. It was a close final but I had prepared her for the shoot-off.