Abhinav Bindra got India's first ever Olympic gold medal in an individual event on Monday when he won the men's 10 metre air rifle at the Beijing Games, dpa reported.
The world champion Bindra improved on his seventh place finish in Athens four years ago, claiming victory with a total of 700.5 points, with China's Zhu Qinan taking silver with 699.7 and Henri Hakkinen of Final bronze with 699.4.
While India has taken Olympic team gold eight times in men's field hockey, individual success has remained elusive.
The country's first non-hockey medal only came at the 1952 Helsinki Games when freestyle wrestler Kha-Shaba Jadav earned a bronze in the 60kg division while Leander Paes also won a bronze in the men's singles tennis tournament in Atlanta in 1996.
Two Indian women have also won individual Olympic medals: weightlifter Karnam Malleswari took bronze at Sydney 2000 while Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore earned silver in the double trap shooting event in Athens four years ago.