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Shooters and shuttlers win a bronze each in Asiad

Incheon: Indian shooters were on target for the second successive day as they delivered a bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol team event, while shuttlers bagged another medal of same hue in the women’s team competition in the 17th Asian Games here on Sunday.

Dipika Pallikal also assured the country of its first women’s singles squash medal in the Asian Games.

New shooting sensation Jitu Rai, who gave India the first gold medal on Saturday, was again the standout performer as he guided the men’s team to the bronze medal in 10m air pistol event at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range.

Rai’s splendid and precise shooting, that helped him garner 585 points and qualify for the medal round with the second-best score, backed up by Samaresh Jung’s 580 (who finished 9th) and Prakash Nanjappa’s 578 (14th), albeit with an injured leg, helped India garner 1743 points, the same as second placed China, for the bronze.

In fact, India and China were level on points and the silver was decided by the number of Xs (bullseye) in the tens in which the latter tallied one more — 65 to India’s 64.

The gold was won by hosts South Korea with a combined tally of 1744.

In badminton, a fighting India went down to hosts South Korea 1-3 in the women’s team semifinals to settle for their maiden bronze medal at the Asian Games.

This was India’s first medal in badminton since the team bronze won by the men in Seoul, 1986. The country’s women had to be satisfied with their first-ever medal in Asian Games history after seven bronze medals won by men.

India’s number one shuttler, Saina Nehwal pulled off a great victory in three tough games against Korean world number four Sung Jihyun 21-12 10-21 21-9 in the opening match that lasted for 56 minutes.

But thereafter, the Indians lost their next three matches to go down to a formidable opponents. P V Sindhu fought tooth and nail before losing to the host country’s world number six Bae Yeonju 21-14 18-21 21-13.

Korean pair of Kim Soyeong and Chang Yena won the doubles against the Indian duo of Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy 21-16 21-17 and then Kim Hyomin smashed P C Thulasi 21-12 21-18 to settle the issue in hosts’ favour.

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