Results of men's 10m air rifle
Gold medalist Abhinav Bindra of India
(C), the runner-up Zhu Qinan of China (L) and bronze winner Henri Hakkinen
of Finland pose for pictures on podium during awarding ceremony of men's
10m air rifle final of Beijing Olympic Games at Beijing Shooting Range
Hall in Beijing, China, Aug. 11, 2008. (Xinhua/Jiao Weiping)
BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra totaled 700.5 points to win the men's 10-meter air rifle title after a hot chase in the final on Monday, winning India's first gold medal at the Beijing Games, and also its first individual title in Olympic history.
The 26-year-old shooter was ranked third with 596 points after the qualification round where Henri Hakkinen of Finland, with 598, and defending champion Zhu Qinan of China, with 597, ranked first and second respectively.
Gold medalist in the 2006 Zagreb World Championships, Bindra pulled up his slacks from the beginning of the final, impressing spectators with a 10.7 in the first shot.
Zhu, however, didn't seem to be in good shape, firing a 9.9 at the third shot and hence plunged to the third.
Hakkinen did a decent job, but Bindra was better.
The Indian, with all his shots above 10 point, surpassed his Finnish rival after the seventh shot.
His lowest point was the eighth shot, a 10.0, when Zhu made a 10.6. This lent Chinese spectators a glim of hope.
But the Chinese 24-year-old Olympic record holder found his sharpness too late. After the ninth shot, he still had a 0.5-point gap behind the Indian.
In the breathtaking last shot, Bindra made a quick fire of 10.8 point to secure the gold.
After the competition, Indian spectators hurrahed and applauded for the victory.
"It was fantastic," repeated the excited champion.
Zhu stared at the big screen with his score, 699.7 points, for quite a while, struggling to hold back his tears.
When he mounted the podium, tears finally fell off and he wiped.
Zhu said that he had been under tremendous pressure before the competition.
"I had been troubled by anxiety and bewilderment," he chocked, "I was the defending champion. I fought hard with the inner self to get rid of the thoughts...but it was really hard."
Hakkinen, 28, got a bronze with 699.4 points.
"I am not very happy," said the riflist, "I really had chance (to win)."
Zhu Qinan of China waves to spectators
on podium during awarding ceremony of men's 10m air rifle final of Beijing
Olympic Games at Beijing Shooting Range Hall in Beijing, China, Aug. 11,
2008. Zhu took the silver medal of the event with 699.7 points.