New Delhi, India wrapped up its shooting campaign at the 24th Deaflympics 2021 in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, in overall second place with three gold and two bronze medals. This is India's best-ever performance in Deaflympics.
Only Ukraine finished ahead of the 10-strong Indian contingent, with six gold and an overall tally of 12 medals.
India currently ranks eighth on the medals table with seven gold, one silver, and four bronze medals.
This is the first time that an Indian shooting contingent has participated in the Deaflympics on the initiative of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). And it has resulted in India's first-ever medals in shooting at the Games.
An elated NRAI secretary-general K. Sultan Singh said, "We at NRAI are very proud of the performance of our shooters at the 24th Deaflympics. It makes me even prouder to have such a dedicated and high-quality team of professionals at NRAI. Without their hard work and dedication, this phenomenal performance would not have been possible in such a short time.
"Our coaches Anuja Jung and Priti Sharma even went to the extent of learning sign language to better impart coaching. My President Raninder Singh also made it very clear from day one that there should be left no stone unturned in the preparations of the squad," the NRAI secretary-general said.
Dhanush Srikanth was the star of the shooting campaign, bagging two gold medals in the Men's 10M Air Rifle and 10M Air Rifle Mixed Team competitions, respectively. Priyesha Deshmukh was his partner in the Mixed Team event.
Abhinav Deshwal won India's third gold medal in the Men's 10M Air Pistol event while Shourya Saini in the Men's Air Rifle and Vedika Sharma in the Women's Air Pistol won individual bronze medals.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the NRAI and the All India Sports Council for the Deaf (AISCD), just three months ahead of the Games, whereby the national governing body of the sport would be involved actively from the trials to selection to coaching and training of the team for the Deaflympics.