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Asiad medallist Palak Gulia wins Paris Olympics quota in 10m air pistol

Palak Gulia finished third in the 10m air pistol final at the last ISSF Olympic qualifiers and won India's 20th quota place for the Paris Games.

Asiad medallist Palak Gulia wins Paris Olympics quota in 10m air pistol

Palak Gulia with her Asian Games gold medal. (FILE Photo)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 15 April 2024 10:18 AM GMT

Asian Games gold medallist shooter Palak Gulia won the last Paris Olympics quota in pistol shooting for India after securing third position in the final of the 10m air pistol event at the ISSF Final Olympic Qualification Championship in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

The teenager overcame a shaky start in the 24-shot final, displaying nerves of steel to climb steadily up the leaderboard and eventually ended with 217.6, bowing out after the 22nd shot. Armenia’s Elmira Karapetyan won gold, while Thai teenager Kamonlak Saencha bagged silver and the second available quota place.

Elmira Karapetyan had already won a quota place in the 10m air pistol event. Hence, the seven other finalists were eligible for the available two quota places.

This is the 20th Paris Olympics quota for India in shooting and the eighth quota in pistol shooting. India has won all 16 quotas available in rifle and pistol shooting and four in shotguns, making it the biggest shooting contingent for the Olympic Games.

Palak made it to the final on Saturday after finishing sixth in the qualification round along with her teammate Sainyam, who had finished seventh.

Another Indian shooter Surbhi Rao failed to break into the top 8 as she finished ninth in the qualification round.

On Sunday, both Palak and Sainyam had a start to forget. But they came back admirably under pressure as Saencha and the experienced Veronika Major of Hungary threatened to pull away from the field in the early stages with some sublime shooting. Saencha’s 10.9 for her 13th shot was a case in point.

Palak and Sainyam were both struggling to get above fifth, but eliminations proved a disaster for Major as Palak and Sainyam got stronger. Ahead of the 19th shot, Palak took a 0.6 lead over Major with Sainyam exiting in fifth.

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