Star shooter Abhinav Bindra came agonisingly close to clinching a second Olympics medal in the men’s 10m air rifle final on the third day of competitions at the Rio Games but only managed to finish fourth after losing a tense shoot-off.

Bindra, who is India’s  lone individual Olympic gold medallist which he won in 2008 Beijing Olympics in the same event, lost the shoot-off against Ukrainian Serhiy Kulish after both were tied for third place at 163.8 points after 16 shots. Bindra’s 10.0 during the shoot-off was not enough to beat Kulish’s 10.5.

The 33-year-old Indian  was at the second spot at one time but lost places later on. He was fourth at first elimination round but jumped to second after the second elimination round. He scored  10.7 on his 11th shot to jump to the second spot but moved back to third following the third elimination round. The end of fourth elimination round saw him at the fourth position but he bounced back in the next round with scores of 10.6 and 10.2. But that was not enough for Bindra to stay clear in the top three as he was tied for the third spot with Ukrainian Kulish at 163.8 points. He later failed to win the shoot-off which  ended his dreams of becoming a double Olympic medallist and join wrestler Sushil Kumar.

Italy’s Niccolo Campriani won the gold while Kulish and Russian Vladimir Maslennikov took the silver and bronze respectively.

However, apart from the heartbreak result, another incident will make the fans sad. Reputed journalist Digvijay Singh Deo, who recently wrote the book ‘My Olympic Journey’, took to Twitter a few minutes after the event ended to reveal an unfortunate incident. Mr. Digvijay said that the ace shooter fell down along with his gun, and broke his sight. He then took a replacement rifle and continued  his firing during the event. He further added that Bindra told him not to reveal the unfortunate event to anybody before the event began.

 

Before the tournament began, Bindra had announced that this was his last Olympics. And Bindra was deprived of a fairytale ending of his glorious career after becoming the fifth shooter to be eliminated in the race for the podium.

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