INCHEON, Sept 20 (IANS): World No.5 Jitu Rai Saturday emerged champion in the men's 50 metre pistol event to give India its first gold medal from the 17th Asian Games at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range here.
It was India's second medal of the day from the shooting ranges. Shweta Chaudhry had won the bronze, the first medal for India from Incheon, in the 10m air pistol event earlier in the day.
Rai, who won the World Championship silver medal earlier this month to book the Olympic berth, shot a total of 186.2 in what was a rollercoaster final round. He had fired 559 in the qualification round to finish seventh and make the cut for the finals.
The silver medal went to Vietnam's Hoang Phuong Nguyen with a final score of 183.4 while China's Wang Zhiwei settled for the bronze with a tally of 165.6.
It was a tough field in the final that saw three-time Olympic champion Jin Jongoh of South Korea finishing seventh with a score of 92.1. Expectations were high from Jin, who shattered a 34-year-old world record enroute to his World Championship gold earlier this month in Granada, Spain. But the South Korean, who topped the qualification round, disappointed and was the second to be eliminated in the finals.
For the Indian Army shooter, 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, it was a bumpy ride to the gold medal. Starting at seventh place in the final round, he jumped to fourth and again dropped to sixth before making a tremendous recovery to clinch the gold medal.