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Palak Secures India’s 20th Paris Olympic Quota Place in Shooting

New Delhi: Reigning Asian Games champion Palak Gulia clinched India’s 20th Paris Olympic quota place in shooting by winning bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol event at the ISSF Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle/Pistol in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Despite a shaky start in the 24-shot final, the teenager exhibited nerves of steel, steadily climbing up the leaderboard to eventually finish with a score of 217.6. Her exceptional performance saw her bow out after the 22nd shot, securing India’s quota place for the Paris Olympics. Armenia’s Elmira Karapetyan claimed the gold medal, while Thai teenager Kamonlak Saencha secured the silver and the second available quota place.

Palak, along with fellow Indian shooter Sainyam, had qualified for the eight-woman final the previous day. While Karapetyan had already secured her quota in earlier competitions, all other finalists had the opportunity to claim the available quotas.

Both Indian shooters faced a challenging start in the final, but they displayed remarkable resilience under pressure. As Saencha and experienced Hungarian shooter Veronika Major threatened to pull away from the field with exceptional shooting, Palak and Sainyam found themselves struggling to move up the ranks.

However, as eliminations occurred, Palak and Sainyam grew stronger. Palak surged ahead of Major ahead of the 19th shot, eventually securing the quota place for India. The Hungarian shooter’s inability to hit the 10-ring in the final moments sealed India’s quota, with Palak’s steady performance ensuring a historic achievement for Indian shooting.

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