Deaflympics 2021: Shooter Dhanush Srikanth, Indian badminton team clinch gold medals in Brazil

On day three of the ongoing 24th Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, Dhanush Srikanth won gold in the men’s 10m air rifle discipline, giving India a perfect start to the Games.

Shourya Saini added the icing to India’s cake with a bronze in the eight-man final on Wednesday, finishing behind Korea’s Kim Woo Rim.

Dhanush won with a finals world record score of 247.5, while Kim finished second with 246.6 and Shourya third with 224.3.

Later, the Indian badminton team won gold, defeating Japan 3-1 in the final to give the country a double celebration.

With two gold and one bronze medal, India is presently ranked seventh in the medals table. Ukraine now holds the lead with 19 gold, six silver, and 13 bronze medals.

Dhanush and Shourya finished second and third in the qualifiers, respectively. They shot brilliantly throughout the day to emerge as deserving medal winners, assisted by National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) instructors Anuja Jung and Priti Sharma for the major sporting event.

Dhanush, who is from Telangana, attends Gangan Narang’s academy in Hyderabad. He put up a strong performance under the direction of Olympic bronze medalist shooter Dhanush to win the largest reward of his career at the Games.

He shot 623.3 in qualifying, finishing second to Kim, who shot 625.1 to win the competition. With a score of 622.7, Shourya finished third, guaranteeing that two Indians advanced to the final stage.

Kim started out strong in the final as well, leading Dhanush until the 18th shot of the 24-shot contest. When the single shots began after the tenth shot, the Indian regained his bearings and gently but steadily gained ground to march ahead.

Dhanush never looked back after passing Kim on the 18th shot and continued to expand the distance, eventually leaving the Korean almost a point behind to secure the victory. Shourya finished third during the final, ensuring the team’s complete recovery from the competition.

In its 65-strong delegation to the Deaflympics in Brazil, India has sent ten shooters. It is their largest and youngest squad to yet, and they will compete in 11 sports.