Rio de Janeiro: Star Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra’s quest for a second Olympics medal ended in heartbreak as he missed a medal by a whisker in a tense shoot-off in the men’s 10m air rifle event on the third day of competitions at the Rio Games here on Monday.
Bindra, the country’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist, lost the shoot-off against Ukrainian Serhiy Kulish after both were tied for third place at 163.8 points after 16 shots.
Bindra, who was shooting in his fifth and final Olympics, was deprived of a fairytale ending to his glorious career as he was the fifth shooter to be eliminated in the race for the podium. He could at least have bagged a bronze had he won the shoot-off.
The 33-year-old Indian, who won a gold in 2008 Beijing Olympics in the same event, was at the second spot at one time but lost places later on. He was fourth at first elimination round but jumped to second after the second elimination round.
Bindra scored a fantastic 10.7 in his 11th shot to jump to second spot but moved back to third after the third elimination round. Two mediocre shots took him to fourth spot after the fourth elimination round but he bounced back in the next round with scores of 10.6 and 10.2.
Earlier in the day, Bindra had qualified for the finals at seventh spot while London Olympics bronze-medallist Gagan Narang missed out after finishing at a lowly 23rd position.