Paralympics: Shooter Singhraj wins bronze, India's eighth medal in Tokyo
Tokyo, Aug 31 (IANS) India's Singhraj held his nerve in a topsy-turvy final round to win a bronze medal in men's P1 -Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1 shooting at the Paralympic Games here on Tuesday. Compatriot Manish Narwal, who had topped the qualifying field, ended seventh, getting eliminated with two poor rounds.
Singhraj ended with a score of 216.8 in the final to finish behind Chinese duo Yang Chao (237.9) and Huang Xing (237.5).
This was India's second medal at the Asaka Shooting Range the eighth overall. Avani Lekhara won India's first gold medal in shooting on Monday.
With two Indians and three Chinese in the eight-shooter final, the contest was expected to be between the five with India's Manish Narwal among the favourites as he had topped the qualifying round.
But Narwal could manage a modest 97.2 in the 10-shot first elimination round and dropped out of medal contention.
Singraj, the 39-year-old from Faridabad, UP, had qualified for the final in sixth position but jumped into second with a brilliant score of 99.6 in the first 10 shots. Russian Paralympic Committee's Sergey Malyshev was eliminated first, finishing eighth with a score of 113.3 -- Narwhal survived the drop but could not advance any further as was out in the next round.
He scored a couple of 10.0 in the next round and survived a scare when he could manage only 9.4 and 9.7 to drop down to fourth.
He had to battle it out for the bronze medal with China's Lou Xiaolong for the third spot. With Singhraj shooting 9.4 and 9.7 in his 13th and 14th shots, Lou overtook him at the third spot. But the Chinese shooter could not hold on to the position for long as he scored 9.6 and 9.7 in his 17th and 18th turn.
After another below-par round of 9.1 and 9.6 on his 19th and 20th turn, it looked like Singhraj may miss out on a medal but the Chinese shooter scored an 8.6 in his 20th shot and thus Singhraj survived by 0.3 points -- 196.8 to 196.5.
In the next round, the 39-year-old educationist from Faridabad shot two 10.0s and had to be satisfied with a bronze medal.
China's Yang Chao, who shot a brilliant 100.3 in the first series, bagged the gold medal despite shooting 8.7, 8.2, and 8.2 in the final. He ended with a score of 237.9, a Paralympic Games record, with compatriot Huang Xing losing out by 0.04 points -- 237.5 as against 237.8 of his opponent.
This was Singhraj's first medal in his maiden Paralympic Games,