Mohammad Asab bagged a bronze after missing out of the gold-medal contest in a tense shoot-off to give India their second medal from shotting in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Asab, who topped the qualification round, and Englishmen Steven Scott and Matthew French were tied at 27 points after shooting 15 pairs of targets, and they had to go through to a shoot-off to decide who plays for the bronze medal play-off with the fourth-placed shooter. In a tense single-pair shoot-off, Asab could only hit only one of the pair after the two Englishmen hit both the two targets, leaving the Indian to play against Nathan Xuereb of Malta.
In the bronze-medal contest, Asab, however, seemed to have regained his composure and beat his opponent hands down 26-24 in the 15-pair contest. Asab led all the way through in the bronze medal contest though Malta's Xuereb caught up with the Indian at the stage of 10th pair. But Asab shot himself back into the lead immediately after that before maintaining a two-shot lead from the 12th to the last to pocket his first medal in his debut Commonwealth Games.
Other Indian in the fray, Ankur Mittal finished fifth. Steven Scott won the gold while the other Englishman Matthew French bagged the silver.
Asab later told PTI that he felt nervous during the shoot-off with the two Englishmen at it was his first CWG. "It is my first Commonwealth Games and I got frightened and nervous at the shoot-off. I trained hard but it is a big stage and I got nervous. That was why I could hit just one target," he said.
"But I am happy to have got a medal in my debut CWG. I will try to get better in future," he added. He said the training stint in Italy before the Games helped him a lot.
"I trained in Italy before the Games and I am fortunate to have done that. That really helped. I tried my best but missed out on the gold in the shoot-off," he said.