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The 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games witnessed an extraordinary display by Indian shooters, marking a historic achievement in the continental event. With a total of 18 medals secured over six days of competition, India’s shooting contingent outperformed their previous record of 14 medals at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
Among the standout performers, Esha Singh, a remarkable 18-year-old talent, shone brightly with her outstanding contributions. Esha’s impressive tally included four medals, comprising two in team events and two in individual categories, making her the most decorated Indian shooter in this edition.
Esha Singh first made waves in the shooting world at the age of 13 in 2018 when she defeated renowned Commonwealth Games medalists Manu Bhaker and Heena Sidhu in the 10m air pistol national championships. This historic victory made her the youngest shooter to clinch a gold medal in the senior category.
Her remarkable journey continued with a silver at the 2019 ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany, where she secured second place in the 10m air pistol women’s event and added a bronze in the 10m air pistol mixed team event.
In the 2023 World Championships held in Baku, Esha demonstrated her excellence by securing a gold medal in the 10m air pistol mixed team event alongside Shiva Narwal.
However, it was at the 2023 Asian Games where Esha’s performance truly reached its pinnacle. Let’s take a closer look at the four medals Esha Singh claimed at the Asian Games:
1. Gold – Women’s 25m Pistol Team Event: Esha partnered with Manu Bhaker and Rhythm Sangwan to clinch the gold medal in the women’s 25m pistol team event earlier in the week. Their combined score of 1759 propelled them to the top of the podium.
2. Silver – Women’s Individual 25m Pistol Event: Following her team’s success, Esha also secured a silver medal in the women’s individual 25m pistol event. She finished with a total score of 34, just four points behind China’s Liu Rui, who claimed gold and set a new Asian Games record. Manu Bhaker, another Indian finalist, finished fifth with a score of 21.
3. Silver – Individual 10m Air Pistol Event: Esha continued her medal haul by earning another silver in the individual 10m air pistol event. While Esha exhibited exceptional performance, she faced stiff competition from fellow Indian shooter Palak Gulia, who secured gold in the event. Pakistan’s Talat Kishmala secured the third-place position. Palak set an Asian Games record with a total score of 242.1, while Esha achieved a score of 239.7.
4. Silver – Women’s 10m Air Pistol Team Event: Esha’s third medal at the continental event came as she teamed up with Palak Gulia and Divya TS to help India secure another silver in the women’s 10m air pistol team event. Esha led the trio with an impressive score of 579, while Palak and Divya contributed scores of 577 and 575, respectively. India’s collective score of 1731 points was narrowly surpassed by China, who clinched gold with 1736 points, also setting an Asian Games record.
Esha Singh’s exceptional performance at the 2023 Asian Games has solidified her status as one of India’s brightest shooting stars, and her achievements serve as a testament to her incredible talent and dedication to the sport.