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A star is born

A star-starved nation found a new sporting icon as Abhinav Bindra shot his way to history, winning India's first ever individual Olympic gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle event in Beijing.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2008 12:06 IST

A star-starved nation found a new sporting icon in a babyface marksman as Abhinav Bindra shot his way to history, winning India's first ever individual Olympic gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle event in Beijing on Monday.

The sharpshooter from Chandigarh lit up an otherwise gloomy day at the Beijing Shooting Range and sizzled in the finals to lift the gold, ahead of his Chinese and Fin rivals.

Abhinav entered the event as world number 17 but showed scant respect for his opponents' reputations, pulling the rugs from under their feet.

The Indian entered the final in fourth place and then raised his game by a few notches to seal the issue.

In the all-important final, he never scored below 10 as he topped the chart with a total of 700.5, adding 104.5 to his qualifying round score of 596.

Fellow Indian Gagan Narang too almost made it to the final but was ruled out on countback.

Gagan scored 595, levelled at the fifth place but lost out on a final place in countback.

Bindra simply sizzled in the final and was quick to assert himself.