India finished second with three gold and two bronze medals and completed their shooting assignment at the 24th Deflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.
Only Ukraine was ahead of the 10-strong Indian team with six gold and a total of 12 medals. It was an admirable performance by Indian shooters in ensuring the country’s best performance ever at the Deflelympics.
India are currently eighth in the medal table with seven gold, one silver and four bronze medals.
This is the first time that an Indian shooting team has competed in the Deflympics on the initiative of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
Enthusiastic NRAI Secretary-General K. Sultan Singh said, “I am more proud to have such a dedicated and high-quality team of professionals at NRAI. Without their hard work and dedication, this extraordinary performance would not have been possible in such a short time.
“Our coaches Anuja Jung and Preeti Sharma also went to great lengths to learn sign language to give coaching better.
“My President Shri Raninder Singh, the Permanent Shooting Promotion Man, also made it clear from day one that no stone should be left unturned in the preparation of the team.”
He also thanked the Sports Authority of India and the Ministry of Sports for supporting the shooters.
“This is honorable. Minister Anurag Thakur, MYAS, himself was on hand to flag-off the team, inspiring confidence and providing highly deserving recognition to deaf shooters. “
Dhanush Srikanth was the star of the shooting team, winning two gold medals in the men’s 10m air rifle and 10m air rifle mixed team events respectively. Priyasha Deshmukh was his partner in the mixed event.
Abhinav Deshwal won India’s third gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event while Shaurya Saini won the individual bronze medal in the men’s air rifle and Vedika Sharma in the women’s air pistol.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the NRAI and the All India Sports Council for the Deaf (AISCD) just three months before the Games, in which the national governing body of the sport will be actively involved from trial to selection. For the coaching and training of the team for Deflelympics.