India's rifle shooter Gagan Narang clinched the bronze medal in the men's 10-metre air rifle event while his illustrious compatriot and defending champion Abhinav Bindra failed to qualify for the final round in the 2012 London Olympics at the Royal Artillery Barracks here Monday.
The gold went to Romanian Alin George Moldoveanu with a total score of 702.1 (599 qualifying, 103.1 final) and Italian Niccolo Campriani bagged the silver with 701.5 (599 qualifying, 102.5 final).
Narang, who is participating in his third Games, had a total score of 701.1 (598 qualifying, 103.1 final). Going into the final round, Narang was third.
In the final round, Narang had a series of 10.7, 9.7, 10.6, 10.7, 10.4, 10.6, 9.9, 9.5, 10.3 and 10.7 to give India its first medal from the London Games.
It was the third time in row that Indian shooters had won medals at the Olympics. Double trap shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the silver in 2004, Bindra gave India a historic gold in Beijing, and now Narang has bagged a bronze in London.
Bindra, India's only individual Olympic gold medallist, failed to qualify as he shot 594 to finish 16th out of 47 contestants.
In the qualifying round, Narang, who missed the final round in Beijing Games on a countback, was in his elements. The 29-year-old Hyderabadi shot perfect series of 100 in all the rounds except the third when he scored 98. He also shot 53 inner 10s.
Bindra had just two series of perfect 100 in the third and the fourth round. He shot 99s in the first, second and fifth and faltered in the sixth, when he shot 97. The top eight shooters qualified for the final round. Former Olympic champion and Beijing Games silver medallist Zhu Qinan of China also failed to qualify for the final round.
Bindra said luck deserted him during the qualification round of the 10 metres air rifle event at the 2012 London Games here Monday.
"Time was running out and I had to take some risks. Needed a little luck for some shots and I didn't get it. I am disappointed, but love the sport, love shooting so am sure I'll continue. I think I did a reasonable job. I could have retired on a high after the Bejing gold but that would have been the easy way out," Bindra told reporters at the Royal Artillery Barracks here.