Doha: Abhinav Bindra shrugged off a bout of flu to clinch the gold medal in 10-metre air rifle event of the Asian Shooting Championships, which got underway on Friday.
The Beijing Olympics gold medallist came through after a nerve-wracking final to pip another Olympic champion and reigning Asian games gold medallist Zhu Qinan of China.
Bindra, who had never won a gold in this tournament, started the qualification with a perfect series of 100.
That was followed by series’ of 99 100 98 100 and 100 to finish with 597/600, just one point behind joint leaders Qinan and world champion Wang Tao of China.
He could have ended with the lead but for an 8 in the 4th series. However, he recovered well to end on a high. At times, he was struggling with his health and was coughing and he even had to step back from the firing point to regroup on a couple of occasions.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee Gagan Narang recovered from a disastrous start to also make the final with a qualifying score of 595.
Narang started with a 97 in his first series and a 99 in his second. He then reeled off 3 perfect series of 100 each before shooting 99 in the last series.
The third Indian in the fray, Satyendra Singh had an off day, shooting a below par score of 582/600. The combined total of the 3 shooters gave India the silver medal in the team event behind the Chinese team that created a new world and Asian record with a total of 1,793/1,800.
Bindra started the 10-shot final with 10.7 to put pressure on the Chinese shooters. His second scoring shot was a 10.8, which was matched by both Narang and Qinan.