Sift Kaur Samra sets new World Record
Historic moment: Sift Kaur Samra clinches India's first individual Gold at Asian Games 2023
Indian shooter Sift Kaur Samra achieved a remarkable feat at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, securing gold in the women's 50m rifle 3 position event. This victory marked India's first individual gold at the Games and their fifth top finish overall, with the previous four gold medals being earned in various team events, including shooting, women's cricket, and equestrian competitions. Additionally, Indian shooter Ashi Chouksey secured the bronze in the same event, contributing to India's overall medal count of 18 in Hangzhou.
Sift Kaur Samra's performance was truly extraordinary as she shattered not only the world record but also the Asian record and the Games record. The 22-year-old shooter achieved a total score of 469.6 after 15 shots in each of the kneeling, prone, and standing positions. Her score surpassed the previous world record, held by Seonaid McIntosh, by 2.6 points, a record set earlier in the year in Baku.
To put Sift's achievement in perspective, the silver medalist, China's Qiongyue Zhang, scored 462.3, which was 7.3 points less than Sift's remarkable score. In a dramatic turn of events, India's Ashi faltered with a disappointing score of 8.9 in the standing position, allowing the Chinese competitor to claim silver. Ashi ultimately secured the bronze medal with a total score of 451.9.
Before her outstanding performance in the final, Sift set an Asian Games record in qualification with a total score of 594 out of 600, tying with China's Xia Siyu, who held the top position due to higher inner 10 scores. Chouksey, another Indian shooter, qualified in sixth place with a total of 590, while Manini Kaushik finished in 18th place with a score of 580.
A landmark victory
This victory marked Sift Kaur Samra's first gold in senior competitions. She had previously won bronze medals in the ISSF World Cup in 2023 and 2022, with her sole gold coming in the junior cup in 2022. Earlier in the day, Sift and Ashi, along with Manini Kaushik, secured a silver medal in the team event of the same competition, contributing to India's successful outing at the Asian Games. China claimed the gold in the team event.