Asian Para Games 2023: Sidhartha Babu secures Paris Paralympics quota with gold in Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 event
He also set a new Games record in the event en route to clinching gold.
India’s Sidhartha Babu won historic gold medal in R6-Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 event at the Asian Para games 2023. With a score of 247.7, he also created a new Games record which was earlier held by South Korea’s Sim Jae Yong (241.3). Sidhartha’s gold medal win also assured India a quota for Paris Paralympics in the event.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Paralympic gold medalist Avani Lekhara had a sub-par outing and finished eighth by registering 119.6.
The final was a closely contested clash as China’s Chao Dong was in touching distance for the top spot. He missed out the gold medal by a meagre 0.2 points. His final shot read a whopping 10.7 which ultimately did not prove to be enough.
A total of 20 shooters participated in the events of which three were Indians – Sidhartha Babu, Avani Lekhara, and Unhalkar. The latter finished 18th in the qualification stage with a score of 603.2 points. Eventual silver medallist Dong Chao set a new qualifying world record and the Games record with a qualification score of 629.2.
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In his illustrious career, Sidhartha Babu, 44, has achieved several accolades. He finished 10th in the Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 event in the previous edition of the Asian Para Games in Indonesia. Five years since, he has now come back strongly to win gold. Sidharta also had a close finish at the Tokyo Paralympics where he finished ninth in the qualification stage with a score of 617.2.
In the recently concluded World Para Shooting Championships, Sidhartha finished 15th but has come back strongly in a space of few months.