After the qualification, it was time for the final round of the 10m Air Rifle event with only Gagan Narang representing India. Abhinav Bindra could have made the cut but he fell apart in the last series of the qualifying round and couldn’t make the cut, finishing a lowly 15. Narang was up against Niccolo Campriani, Alin George Moldoveanu and Tao Wang for the medals.
The scores from the qualifying would carry forward and added to whatever scores were shot in the fianl round. The final round consisted of 10 shots from which the shooters had to score, with the maximum points that a shot can earn being 10.9. Narang started with a bright 10.7, but then missed the next shot, hitting only 9.7. On the other hand, Alin George Moldoveanu was being very consistent with scores of 10.3 and 10.5 and was leading the pack.
But from the 3rd shot, Narang set his sights and shot ahead with a series of scores above 10.5, with only one shot at 10.4. At one point, Narang was in second place and was within touching distance of the gold medal. But Moldoveanu and Campriani upped their own game and shot a series of blinders themselves. And this was where Narang lost the plot. He shot a lowly 9.9 and followed that up with an even worse 9.5. The others pulled ahead and Narang fell back to 4th place behind Tao Wang.
With just 2 shots remaining, Narang shot 10.3 and 10.7 to ensure that he would make the bronze medal his own. While it would be disappointing that he didn’t win the gold after being so close, it is still a matter of pride that India won a medal in the Olympics. Let’s all join together in hailing our first hero of London 2012 and pray that more medals come our way!