Abhinav Deshwal, a 15-year-old from Roorkee, gave India their second gold in shooting after he won the men’s 10M Air Pistol competition on Day five of the ongoing 24th Deaflympics 2021 in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.
The teenager was tied with silver-winning Ukrainian Oleksii Lazebnyk at 234.2 points apiece at the end of the 24-shot final, before winning in a shoot-off where he shot a 10.3 to the Ukranian’s 9.7. Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Ming-Jui won bronze.
Abhinav made the top eight final round after finishing second in the 60-shot qualification round with a score of 575 out of 600. He was tied on points here too with Kim Kihyeon, but the Korean topped on account of more inner 10s.
Shubham Vashist, the second Indian in the field, also made it to the finals, finishing sixth with a score of 563. He bowed out in the same position in the finals as well.
It wasn’t all easy going for Abhinav in the finals as he started slowly placing fifth after the first five-shot series and moving up to fourth after 10-shots. However, he displayed great consistency and fought to string together some good scores as the single shots began and slowly climbed up the ladder, eventually catching up with Oleksii who had maintained a top-two position throughout the final.
Going into the final two shots, Abhinav was 0.6 behind Oleksii. He displayed nerves of steel to maintain high scores when it mattered even as Oleksii faltered, enabling the Indian to clinch the title.
India now have four medals from the 24th Deaflympics Shooting competition. Dhanush Srikanth had won gold in the men’s 10M Air Rifle while Shourya Saini had won bronze in the same event. Then on Thursday, Vedika Sharma won a bronze in the women’s 10M Air Pistol.
India have sent ten shooters in their 65-strong contingent for the Brazil Deaflympics. It is their largest and youngest-ever squad and will be participating in 11 sporting disciplines.