China’s teen sensation Yang Haoran leads 10-metre air rifle sweep at Asian Games

The world champion, 18, took gold in the individual 10-metre air rifle event on Tuesday after leading China to the team gold earlier.

China's Yang Haoran shown during his 10-metre air rifle victory at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea on Tuesday. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP / September 23, 2014
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Teenager Yang Haoran led China’s sweep of the men’s 10-metre air rifle event at the Asian Games on Tuesday as India’s Abhinav Bindra ended his full-time shooting career with two bronze medals.

Yang, the 18-year-old world champion, confirmed his status as a shooting sensation by winning the showpiece event with 209.6 points after leading China to the team gold.

Teammate Cao Yifei picked up the silver with 208.9, conceding the lead to Yang in the last two shots of a well-contested eight-man final.

Bindra, India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist in any sport, finished with 187.1 points in his final competition as a professional shooter.

New rules that allow spectators inside the hall to make noise even when the competitors are taking aim almost created an incident when Korean fans began to clap loudly as the two Chinese remaining in the fray took aim.

But Yang made light of the commotion, saying he had heard worse before.

“This kind of noise will make a lot of shooters nervous because it is hard to concentrate,” Yang said. “But I was not bothered by it. Compared to earlier tournaments, this noise was nothing.

“I am happy I won because there are many elite shooters in Asia. The competition is really tough. I have learnt a lot from watching others perform in Incheon.”

Yang, Cao and Liu Tianyou narrowly missed creating a new world record in the team event by 0.1 points as they left the rest of the field behind with a dominant show.

The Chinese trio, who hold the record of 1886.5 points set at the world championships in Spain this month where Yang was individual champion, finished with a combined tally of 1886.4.

South Korea finished second with 1867.6 points through Kim Sang-do, Kim Hyeonjun and Han Jin-seop.

Bindra led teammates Ravi Kumar and Sanjeev Rajput to a bronze medal for India with 1863.0 points.

The 31-year-old won the event at the 2008 Beijing Games to give India its first – and so far only – individual gold medal following eight field hockey titles.

Bindra, who will give up full-time shooting after the Games and pursue it as a hobby, said he was delighted to win two bronze medals.

“I’m really glad because the Chinese shooters, especially Yang, are so strong,” he said. “I enjoyed watching their unbelivable shots. They are all so talented.”

Meanwhile, Zhu Jingyu of China dethroned defending champion Yukie Nakayama of Japan to win the women’s trap gold medal.

The women were tied 12-12 in the final before Zhu won the tie-breaking shoot-out 2-1.

Chattaya Kitcharoen of Thailand took the bronze by beating Anastassiya Davydova of Kazakhstan 1-0 in a tiebreaker after the shooters were locked 10-10 in the final.

With 16 titles decided so far in the 44-event shooting competition, China have won 10 golds, South Korea three and India, Iran and Kazakhstan one each.

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