Asian Games: Teenagers Palak Gulia and Esha Singh win gold, silver in women’s 10m air pistol
India had a sensational one-two finish in the women’s 10m air pistol final at the Hangzhou Asian Games as 17-year-old Palak Gulia and 18-year-old Esha Singh won gold and silver on Friday. This is the Indian shooting contingent’s 17th medal so far (six gold, six silver and seven bronze), the best-ever medal haul at the Asian Games since the 2006 edition (14 medals).
Palak, making her debut at a major multi-sport competition, was peerless in the final as she led the field from the 12th shot and never let go, increasing her lead and ensuring her first big gold medal at the senior international stage. She finished with a Asian Games record score of 242.1.
Esha, who won silver in women’s 25m pistol the day before, won a second individual medal by holding her nerve and holding off her opponents at multiple points for silver with 239.7 points. Earlier in qualification, India had won the team silver as well, making it a big haul for the day with men’s 50m rifle 3 positions also held on Friday.
The star of the final was Palak, who showed no nerves whatsoever in one of the biggest matches of her life. She took her time with shots and was often the last to finish, unfazed by anything around her. She was placed second after the first 10 shots, while Esha was in the gold medal position.
But once the elimination began, she moved to pole position and didn’t relinquish her lead until the end. After 16 shots, she had good lead of over 1 point in the gold medal position, which she extended to over 2 points after 18 shots – a big margin in shooting.
The gold medal didn’t seem in much doubt after that as India confirmed another double medal podium. Esha had to stay calm to ensure she didn’t drop off further as the difference between her and bronze winner, Pakistan’s Kishmala Talat, was in decimals. She did that and the Indians were the last two shooters standing, hugging each other in a touching moment after the final shot was taken.