The trio bagged India’s 12th gold medal at the ongoing shooting world cup.
Hosts India continued their dominance of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun stage at New Delhi’s Dr Karni Singh Shooting range on Friday, winning two more gold medals on the day, to take their tally to 12 gold, seven silver and six bronze medals for a total of 25 medals won till now.
Seasoned Rifle shooters and Tokyo Olympic quota holders Tejaswini Sawant and Sanjeev Rajput paired up to win the day’s first gold in the 50M Rifle 3 Positions (3P) Mixed Team event. They beat the Ukrainian team of Serhiy Kulish and Anna Ilina 31-29 in a closely contested final. Thereafter, the Men’s 3P team comprising Chain Singh, Swapnil Kusale and Niraj Kumar bagged the yellow metal beating team USA 47-25 in the final.
India also won a silver and bronze medal on the day.
Vijayveer Sidhu went down 1-4 in a Shoot-off to decide the gold medal, to Estonia’s Peeter Olesk in the Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol event. Peeter, by virtue of this performance incidentally got assured of a quota place for the Tokyo Olympics. Both Peeter and Vijayveer were tied at 26-hits a piece after the eight allotted series of five shots each.
India’s bronze medal came via the second entered Mixed 3P team of Sunidhi Chauhan and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar. They got the better of the American pair comprising of Women’s Air Rifle Olympic Champion Virginia Thrasher and Timothy Sherry, 31-15 in the bronze medal match.
India missed out on two outside chances to get two additional quotas above the 15 they have already won for the Tokyo Olympics, on the day.
First, in the Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol, Anish Bhanwala by virtue of his world ranking needed to finish among the medals and also hope that Estonian Peeter and Poland’s Oscar Miliwek, finished outside it. An outright gold would have been even easier for him, but even though all three Indians qualified for the final, only Vijayveer medalled while Anish and Gurpreet Singh finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Then in Men’s Trap, Kynan Chenai needed an outright gold to have a chance but finished fourth in a strong field. Former Shotgun World Champion, Daniele Resca of Italy, won the gold in the event while reigning World Champion Alberto Fernandez won silver. Valerio Grazini of Italy was third.
In the Women’s Trap, the gold went to Slovakia’s Rehak Stefecekova, while Poland’s Sandra Bernal won silver and Italy’s Fiammate Rossi won bronze.
Competition day nine on Saturday, the penultimate day of this ISSF World Cup stage has two finals lined up, namely the Rapid Fire Pistol Mixed team and the Trap Mixed team events.