Bindra earns London quota place
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Ever since he made history at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he won India's first individual gold medal, Abhinav Bindra has had a mostly barren run, failing to make the finals in any of the ISSF events since then.
But on Saturday at the Munich World Cup, Bindra redeemed himself to some extent. By finishing eighth in the 10m Air Rifle event, Bindra struck when it mattered the most and secured yet another quota place for India — eighth so far — for the London Olympics. Since five of the eighth finalists had already won a berth, Bindra bagged the berth simply by making the finals.
After shooting 596 in the qualifications on Saturday, the 28-year-old rifle ace had to fight it out in a shoot off with nine other shooters just to make it to the final rounds. He made it to the finals with a score of 52.6, but failed to press on in the finals. The gold was won by China's Zhu Qinan, while his countrymate Wang Tao bagged the silver. Bronze was won by Slovakia's Josef Gonci.
Bindra was relieved to get the quota. "Winning the berth was far more important than the medal. I did the hard work in the shoot off. Quota is bigger, everything else is secondary," he told The Sunday Express.
Gagan Narang's return to competition after missing the last World Cup finals went from bad to worse. Not only did he finish 77th with a total of 589, he is also a doubtful starter for the 50m three position competition.
The third Indian in the fray, Satyendra Singh finished 38th overall with a total of 593. Anjali Bhagwat, who was shooting in her first international event since Beijing Olympics, too failed to make an impression.
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