India expecting first Asian Games medals from Bindra, Narang

Guangzhou, Nov 12 (IANS) India will be expecting its first medal from the 16th Asian Games here when its two leading marksmen Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang take their guard in the men’s 10 metre air rifle event at the Aoti ranges Saturday.

Bindra returns to China after having won the historic Olympic gold for India in the same event two years back at the Beijing Games. Narang, who won four gold medals in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, missed the final round by a whisker. But much time has passed since then and in the last two years Narang, a double world record holder, has come out of the shadows of Bindra and has emerged as India’s brightest medal hope in the London 2012 Olympics.

Bindra and Narang will contest with Chinese rivals Zhu Qinan, Cao Yifei and Yu Jikang in what will be an intriguing tussle for the gold in the men’s 10m Air Rifle on the first day of competitions.

Narang overshadowed Bindra at the Commonwealth Games at home in New Delhi last month with four gold medals, including an easy win in Bindra’s 10m Air Rifle event.

Narang is the man in form and may pose problems for former Olympic champion Zhu Qinan, who was left shattered after he was denied a gold by Bindra.

Zhu has an opportunity to avenge the heartbreak he suffered in Beijing and will look to lift the team gold medal in the event with Cao and Yu.

Narang, who was the Indian flag bearer, is aware of the expectations, but is wary of the Chinese competitors.

‘It will be tougher to win here than the Commonwealth Games due to the presence of the Chinese shooters. But shooting is a sport where you compete with yourself,’ said Narang.

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