Rahi Sarnobat became the first Indian woman shooter to win an Asian Games gold medal after prevailing in a double shoot-off in the 25m pistol event final in Indonesia on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old shot a games record score on her way to winning the yellow metal at the Jakabaring Shooting Range.
The final went into shoot-off after Rahi and Naphaswan Yangpaiboon of Thailand were tied on 34 points. Both Rahi and Yangpaiboon shot four out of five shots in the first shoot-off, and then in the second shoot-off the Indian prevailed over her opponent by missing one less.
Date of Birth: October 30, 1990
Event at Asian Games: 25m sport pistol
Past performance at Asiad: Team bronze at the 2014 Asian Games
Best performance in career so far: Gold, Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014
Brief Description: Rahi Sarnobat is among India’s most successful sport pistol shooters with back-to-back gold medals at the 2010 Delhi and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 25m pistol event.
But even the 27-year-old didn’t have the best of runs in the last couple of years after an injury to her shooting hand kept her out of the game over a year and she struggled with her form since then.
She started in Kolhapur in Maharashtra where there was no 25m range but has risen through the ranks with her consistent performances in the early years of this decade.
She won an individual gold and pair silver at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 and became the first Indian woman to seal an Olympic quota in sport pistol when she won the bronze at the ISSF World Cup at Fort Benning, USA in 2011.
At the 2012 London Olympics, she finished 19th. Her best performance at the ISSF level came in 2013 when she became the first Indian pistol shooter to win a gold at the shooting World Cup.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, she defended her gold and at the Asian Games in Incheon later in the year, she won a team bronze medal with Anisa Sayyed and Heena Sidhu.
But in 2015, she had to take nearly a year-long break from the range due to injury and her form dipped subsequently. She did not shoot for the entire year of 2016 and only took up the gun at the end of the year. She had mixed results in 2017 and early 2018, but she finished fourth at the World Cup in Changwon, narrowly missing the bronze.