Hussain Al-Harbi secured Saudi Arabia its first medal at the Asian Games, finishing second in the Men’s 300m Standard Rifle shooting event.
Al-Harbi scored 568 points, just one less than winner Youngjeon Choi of South Korea, to take silver at the Jakabaring Sport City Shooting Range in Palembang, Jakarta’s co-host of the month-long games. Choi’s compatriot Lee Won-gyu took bronze with 563 points.
The shooting event is debuting at the Asiad this month and involved firing from three positions — kneeling, prone and standing. Al-Harbi demonstrated consistency across the three, finishing second-best from 13 athletes in kneeling and third-best in standing. The score of Al-Harbi, a 42-year-old from Al-Kharj, was 21 points behind the world record set by France’s Cyril Graff four years ago, but ensured him his country’s first medal of the ongoing Asiad. At the 2014 games in Incheon, South Korea, Saudi won seven medals, including three golds, although none in shooting.
Four of the Kingdom’s 2014 medals came from athletics, which start today, while the National Olympic Committee have high expectations in equestrian. Abdullah Alsharbatly, the 35-year-old Jeddah resident, won gold in individual jumping four years ago and also took home silver as part of the team jumping event.
Abdullah Alsharbatly is the only non-athletics athlete to have won three gold medals for Saudi Arabia, having claimed team gold in 2006 and 2010 before winning individual gold in Incheon four years ago.