The 19-year-old performed brilliantly in the final.
It was a decent outing for the Indian shooters at the ISSF World Cup in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle as World No.1 Divyansh Singh Panwar clinched the Bronze medal with a total score of 228.1, while Arjun Babuta (185.5) only managed to finish fifth in the final.
Both Indian shooters started slowly with Babuta getting a 10.0 and Divyansh securing a 10.4 to start the proceedings. But, the tables turned after five shots as Babuta was third in the standings after showing great consistency in the opening exchanges of the event. Whereas, Divyansh was lagging in the seventh position as he had a very below-par start.
After the first 12 shots, it was South Korea’s Nam Tae-yun who got eliminated first from the ISSF World Cup. He came up with a 10.9 in his last shot but it was a little too late for the youngster. Nam was followed by Oleh Tsarkov as the Ukrainian got eliminated after 14 shots. Whereas Divyansh caught up with Babuta and the duo were join fourth at this stage.
It was not a good day for the South Koreans as Choo Byoung-gil who was at close quarters with Arjun Babuta got eliminated after 16 shots. However, after 18 shots it was curtains for Babuta, as he was fighting with Divyansh for survival and failed to keep up with the Tokyo bound shooter.
While the 19-year old chased for the bronze medal, his main competition was Israel’s Sergey Richter who was a little ahead of him. However, the tables turned during the 19th shot, as Richet could only manage a 9.6 while the World No.1 picked up the pace with a solid 10.6.
Recovering from his previous shot, Richter notched up a 10.7 in the following shot putting the Indian under a lot of pressure, but he came up with a decent 10.3 to just survive by a margin of 0.3. Therefore, it meant that despite his best efforts, the Israeli could only finish fourth in the 10m Air Rifle final at the ISSF World Cup with a total score of 206.9.
It was between three shooters now, Lucas Kozeniesky from the United States who was leading with Hungary’s Istvan Peni in second followed by Divyansh Panwar in third. The Indian was 0.9 behind the Hungarian and had to settle for Bronze.
Peni and Kozeniesky went into the final showdown with the Hungarian being 0.9 behind with two shots remaining. Peni piled up the pressure with back-to-back 10.5 in his last two shots. The nerves were evident, as Kozeniesky faltered with a 9.8 in his final shot, but still managed to clinch the Gold medal by a hair’s breadth of 0.1. Peni scored a total of 249.7 points while Kozeniesky scored 249.8 points.