Rio de Jenerio: In his last appearance on the Olympic stage, which was his third final in five attempts, Abhinav Bindra came within 0.1 of winning a second medal at the pinnacle of world sport. In the end, he bowed out of the competition at fourth place in the final of the men’s 10m air rifle with cumulative score of 163.8 at the Olympic Shooting Centre on Monday.
Having entered the final with a stunning recovery in the qualification round earlier on Monday, the 33-year-old Bindra held his composure – honed over years of zen-like focus and training – to move up the table and into the top three. However, just towards the end he fell back to fourth and then fell agonizingly short of claiming bronze; Russia’s Vladimir Maslennikov came in third.
Gold was claimed by Italian Niccolo Campriani – his second such – and the Ukraine’s Serhiy Kulish took silver. In the first series of three shots, Bindra shot 29.9. In the second, he dropped down to seventh place with a score of 60.1. In the third, super shots worth 10.7 and 10.8 moved him to third and into bronze medal position. That became second as Bindra nailed another 10.7, moving to within 0.5 behind the leader.
As the tension ratcheted up, Bindra began the sixth series with a 9.7 shot. His second was 10.5. It call came down to his last shot, which was a 10 – but not enough to win him bronze.