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Asian Games: Shooter Vijay Kumar to undergo spondylitis surgery

After finishing second in the team 25m centre fire pistol, Vijay can now tend to his neck

Incheon: Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar is a relieved man. Not just because of the silver medal he won in combination with Pemba Tamang (581) and Gurpreet Singh (580) in the men’s 25m centre fire but also because he can now attend to his own body and mend it in time for the next season.

Gurpreet Singh (extreme left), Vijay Kumar and Pemba Tamang with their silver medals
Gurpreet Singh (extreme left), Vijay Kumar and Pemba Tamang with their silver medals after finishing second in the 25m center fire. Pic/PTI.

India’s last medal hopes now rest with their men’s rifle team, which has Gagan Narang, in the 50m 3-position event to be held today.

The 29-year-old Kumar, who shot the day’s only perfect round — a 100 in the first set of rapid shots — could ironically have turned the silver into gold with a perfect 10 in his very last shot, which was only an eight. Ultimately India finished two behind gold medallists, China, who totaled 1742 and India had 1740.

A ‘10’ would have tied India with China and the gold would have gone India’s way because of the greater number of ‘inner 10s’ — India had 68 to China’s 58. But Vijay’s third Asian Games medal — he had two bronze medals from 2006 and 2010 — also means the end of the season. With no more shooting till the National Games early next year, Vijay now plans to undergo a micro-surgery for his cervical spondylitis.

Result of overtraining
“I had undergone MRI scan and it has been found out that I have cervical spondylitis. I intend to undergo surgery after I go back. I may be out of competition for 20 days. It is the result of overtraining. “I should be back to training and competition by the National Games,” he added as India’s campaign in pistol events came to an end.

The silver brought Indian haul from shooting to one gold, one silver and six bronze, which is still almost half of India’s 17 medals thus far at the end of the first week of the 17th Asian Games. 

But only two of the eight medals were won in individual section — Jitu Rai’s gold in 50m pistol and Abhinav Bindra’s bronze in 10m air rifle. Individually Tamang finished eighth, while Gurpreet was ninth and Vijay Kumar was 12th.
Tamang was also relieved with the medal, saying, “I am very happy with the team silver after we as a team missed the bronze by a whisker (by virtue of shooting lesser inner tens) in the 25m standard pistol.”

The Indian women’s team, comprising Lajja Gauswami, veteran 44-year-old Anjali Bhagwat and Tejaswini Muley finished sixth in the 50m rifle 3 positions team finals.

8: The number of shooting medals India have won at the Incheon Asiad so far. They include one gold, one silver and six bronze

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