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Saturday, 4 August 2012
Vijay Kumar gladdens Indian hearts with a silver
The 26-year-old shoots with assurance and consistency; Cuban Pupo equals Final World Record
He is as gritty as they come from the Army.
Vijay Kumar lifted the sagging spirit of the Indian camp with a silver medal in 25m rapid fire pistol at the Royal Artillery Barracks here on Friday.
In the lottery of a new format in which the qualification scores do not count for the final tabulation, the 26-year-old Vijay was like a rock in the final in which the reigning world champion Alexei Klimov of Russia went without a medal despite shooting a world record 592 in qualification.
Competing in his maiden Olympics, the 26-year-old Vijay started brilliantly with a perfect five, as he shot the targets in four seconds with a touch of assurance, and kept up the tempo going till Leuris Pupo of Cuba had confirmed the gold with an unbeatable total of 34.
He had won two silver medals in the World Cups in rapid fire pistol and finished fourth in the World Cup finals, but had not won a medal in the event in the last Asian Games. Quite interestingly, Vijay had been awarded the bronze medal in the Doha Asian Games, despite finishing fourth, as the rules did not allow the award of three medals to one country (China) then.
Vijay had also asserted his versatility in the last Asian Games when he won the individual bronze medals in air pistol and centre-fire pistol. He had won three gold medals in the Commonwealth Games at New Delhi.