The world number five showed tremendous grit and concentration to beat back the challenge from strong contenders like Wang Zhiwei of China and South Korea's two-time Olympic champion and reigning world champion Jongoh to win the gold. Akhilesh announces cash reward for ace shooter Jitu Rai
In fact both Zhiwei and Jongoh were eliminated in the race early on leaving only the Indian ace and unheralded Vietnamese Hoang Phuong Nguyen fighting for the gold.
It needed the last set of shots to decide the issue in favour of Rai. He shot 8.4 after the nervous Vietnamese was way off the mark to fire a poor 5.8 to win the gold.
Fresh from his 50 metre Pistol silver in the World Championships, the Lucknow-based marksman completed a grand double as he had won a gold in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow earlier this year.
He thus became only the second Indian pistol shooter to clinch an Asian Games title after Jaspal Rana and the fourth shooter overall after shotgun experts Randhir Singh in 1978 and Ronjan Sodhi in 2010.
Rai said that he badly wanted to win the gold.
"I wanted to win this gold badly and was under a lot of pressure. The competition here was even more than in the Commonwealth Games or the World Championship. I am happy that I could fulfill my wish," he said.
He qualified seventh for the final with a tally of 559.
National pistol coach Pavel Smirnov later praised Rai, describing him as a very strong character.
"He's very strong mentally. There had been lot of competitions this year leading into the Games, the CWG, the world championships. He's mentally strong and that's why he could do it," he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has congratulated Jitu Rai and announced a cash reward of Rs 50 lakh for Lucknow-based ace shooter for winning a gold in the 50 metre pistol event at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon.
"Through his dedication, hard work and talent, Rai has put up a good show in the Asian Games and earned laurels for the country and state where he honed his skills for a long time," the Chief Minister said in a statement.
"His feat would inspire the youth of the country to work hard and dedicatedly for achieving their goals," he added.
The world number five showed tremendous grit and concentration to beat back the challenge from strong contenders like Wang Zhiwei of China and South Korea's two-time Olympic champion and reigning world champion Jongoh to win the gold.
Akhilesh announces cash reward for ace shooter Jitu Rai