Dizzy Rana on target for India's first gun gold

Updated: 2006-12-08 09:41

DOHA, Dec 7 - A dazed and dizzy Jaspal Rana landed India's first shooting gold medal of the Asian Games on Thursday with victory in the 25m standard pistol at the Lusail Shooting complex.

Despite enduring a sleepless night with high fever, the 30-year-old steadied his hand and maintained his composure to finish top with 574 points from a maximum 600 at the remote gun club in the middle of the Qatari desert.

"I've been sick with fever for three days, I feel so tired, and dizzy today, so I'm happy with the score," Rana told reporters.

"I can't even sleep. I need to wake up at four am to take medicine and it made me so tired.

"I just concentrated on my technique. As I'm so dizzy, I can't think anything else anyway," added the father of one, who says he has a love of weapons and collects them for a hobby.

Park Byung-taek of South Korea was three points behind to take silver, a point ahead of bronze medallist Kasakh Vladimir Issachenko.

The victory was Rana's first at the Asian Games since Hiroshima in 1994 and the fourth gold for the 427-strong Indian team in Doha.

India's shooters have fared well at the Games so far, winning four silver and six bronze medals at the Lusail complex, a favourite haunt of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani

China continued to run away with the shooting medals, winning golds in the 50m rifle three positions team and individual finals, taking their tally to 26 of the 36 golds already decided.

On a dreary drizzly day in Doha, a calm and composed Zhang Fu wrapped up the individual event, amassing 1,268 points for the gold medal, with team mate Zhang Lei winning silver in 1,266.8. India's Gragab Narang was third with 1,261.9.

Wearing a blue sun visor and stiff blue and black rubber suit, Zhang turned away from the target and waved a V for victory to the crowd as the final scores were delivered.

"I'm delighted, I've spent a lot of time working for this and it's all paid off," he told Reuters.

"I had to keep my focus all the time and make sure I wasn't distracted," added Zhang Fu, who said he used to suffer from pre-event nerves as an inexperienced rifleman.

The two individual Chinese medallists joined up with Liu Tianyou to take the team title in an Asian record 3494 points, beating Kazakhstan and India.

China's marksmen top the shooting medals table ahead of Kazakhstan and South Korea.

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