Asian Games: Esha Singh earns silver with thrilling comeback in 25m pistol women's final

Esha Singh (L) won silver in the women's 25m pistol event at the 19th Asian Games, Hangzhou. Shan Yuqi/Xinhua via Getty Images

Esha Singh won silver in the women's 25m pistol event after pulling off a thrilling comeback in the second half of the final. It's her second medal of the day, after combining with Manu Bhaker and Rhythm Sangwan to win gold in the team event this morning. Bhaker also competed in the final, finishing fifth.

This is India's 11th medal in shooting, their best medal haul since 2014 (second best of all time).

Esha's 34 would have equalled the earlier Games Record but gold medallist Liu Rui smashed with a score of 38. Esha started slowly, hitting a 2 (out of 5) and a 3 (out of 5) in her first two series. At this stage, Bhaker was ahead of her: she was fourth with 6 and Esha fifth with a score of 5.

In the next series, she nailed a 5 while Bhaker hit a 3 and Esha went ahead of her compatriot at third with 10 points, while Bhaker was on 9. At this stage, Bhaker had a pistol malfunction which needed attending to, and that caused a slight delay in the final.

In the fourth series, Bhaker dropped quite a bit after shooting a 1, but Esha powered ahead with a 4. This is when the first elimination happened and Chinese Taipei's Wu Chiaying dropped out. At this stage, Esha remained 3rd with 14, while Manu dropped to sixth with 11.

In the fifth, Bhaker roared ahead with a series of 5, while Esha slipped up with just a 1. That saw Bhaker and Esha tied at 4th with 15 points. Singaporean Shun Teo was eliminated.

Esha recovered from her 1 with a 3 which was equalled by Bhaker. They were joint fourth and Iran's Haniyeh Rostamiyan got eliminated. Then came another delay where South Korean shooter Jiin Yang's target malfunctioned.

Esha then went on a stunning series of 5, while Bhaker could hit only 3 to be eliminated as the fifth-placed shooter.

This 5 dragged Esha level with Yang and Feng at 23 - before another brilliant series of 4 meant she climbed to second. Feng was eliminated after a shoot-off with Yang but Esha held the lead on her by 1. That gap grew to two in the next series after Esha hit another clutch 5 to ensure a top-two finish.

In the final series, she could only hit 2 but the uncatchable Liu hit 4 to smash the Games record.

Esha, 18, is from Hyderabad and started shooting at the Gachibowli Athletic stadium before moving to the Gun for Glory Academy run by former Olympic medalist Gagan Narang.

She has previously won multiple medals at the junior level including the junior world championship gold in 2022. She'd been part of India's gold medal-winning senior team at the 10m air pistol mixed team and 25m pistol team events.

Earlier in the day, The Indian team of Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Gurjoat Khangura and Anant Jeet Singh Naruka bagged the team bronze medal in the men's skeet event. The trio shot a total of 355. Hosts China won the gold medal while Qatar claimed the silver. Naruka is in action later in the individual final.