ISSF World Cup 2023 Bhopal Review: China top as India claim seven medals

Abhiruchi RoutAbhiruchi Rout

March 31 2023
ISSF World Cup 2023

The Indian contingent finished second on the medals table for the tournament.

Shooting Powerhouse China produced an astounding performance on its comeback to International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup events in 2023. On the concluding day of the tournament, the Chinese team further claimed two gold medals to end their campaign, bagging eight gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. As ten gold medals were on offer in the tournament, China’s performance was simply commendable. The host nation, India, and Germany grabbed the remaining two golds in men’s 10m air pistol and women’s 25m pistol events.

India’s performance at ISSF World Cup 2023 Bhopal

Bhopal, India, was declared the host for the third leg of the ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup 2023. This was for the first time when a world cup leg was staged at the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy. Although India did great as a host nation and received heaps of praise from the ISSF President Luciano Rossi, their performance on the World Cup stage was far from excellent. 

The only gold for the nation was claimed by Sarabjot Singh who achieved it in the men’s 10m air pistol event. Just before some time, Varun had clinched the bronze for India in the same event. This implied a commanding start for India as the men’s 10m air pistol was also the first event played in the tournament.

However, as the tournament continued, Indian shooters couldn’t replicate their dominance as they did in the ISSF World Cup 2023 in Cairo. In Egypt, they had collected four gold and three silver medals. But, here in Bhopal, the team could just advance to two gold medal playoffs and the medal match in the Women’s 25m Pistol. 

Reigning World Champion Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil collected the bronze medal in the men’s individual 10m air rifle event in Bhopal. This was his second medal in the event as he had earlier partnered with Narmada Nithin Raju in the mixed team event to win bronze. 

Pistol shooter Varun Tomar too clinched two medals at the event. This included silver in mixed 10m air pistol alongside Rhythm Sangwan and bronze in the Individual category. In the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions, experienced shooter Anjum Moudgil disappointed, but Sift Kaur Samra won her maiden world cup medal to finish India’s campaign at the ISSF World Cup 2023. Let’s take a look at all the medalists of the ISSFl World Cup 2023 in Bhopal.

Medalists for India at ISSF World Cup 2023 Bhopal

No. of medalistsAthleteEventMedal
1Sarabjot SinghMen’s 10m Air PistolGold
2Rhythm Sangwan and Varun TomarMixed – 10m AIr PistolSilver
3Varun TomarMen’s 10m Air PistolBronze
4Rudrankksh Balasaheb PatilMen’s 10m Air RifleBronze
5Manu BhakerWomen’s 25m PistolBronze
6Sift Kaur SamraWomen’s 50m Rifle 3 PositionsBronze
7Rudrankksh Balasaheb Pati and Narmada Nithin RajuMixed – 10m Air RifleBronze

Shooters who showed their prowess at ISSF World Cup 2023 Bhopal

Sarabjot Singh

Sarabjot became India’s lone gold medalist at the recently held ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup 2023 in Bhopal. He also featured in his second World Cup as the Cairo one was his first where he finished fourth. The 21-year-old Sarabjot emerged as the best shooter for India as he topped in all three rounds. 

Initially, he advanced to the ranking round with a strong 585 in the qualifications. In the ranking round, Sarabjot shot 253.2 to storm into the gold medal match. There, he put on a commanding show right from beginning to end, thus defeating his Azerbaijan opponent Ruslan Lunev with a 16-0 scoreline. 

Manu Bhaker

Tokyo Olympian and ace Indian shooter Manu Bhaker returned to winning ways as she bagged the bronze medal in the ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup 2023 in Bhopal. This was the first medal in an ISSF senior event after almost two years. She earned her last international medal in October 2021 in New Delhi. 

In the qualifications, Manu finished third with a total of 584 to enter the ranking round. In ranking match two, she hit 14 shots and advanced to the medal match alongside the eventual gold medal winner Doreen Vennekamp. In the medal match, Manu Bhaker then got the better of China’s Xiong Yaxuan, a Tokyo Olympian, to add another accomplishment under her possession.

Shooters who missed out on an opportunity by a whisker

Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar

India’s biggest hope in the men’s 50m rifle 3 Positions event, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, topped the qualifications with a total of 591 to advance to the ranking round. This also meant that the local boy was set to receive the maximum cheer from the crowd as the game proceeded to the ranking match. 

Although Aishwary wasn’t consistent in the ranking round, he had recovered well and looked almost certain to acquire the bronze medal. However, he again faltered at the end, owing to a poor last series. As a result, the 22-year-old had to settle for the fourth position, missing the medal by a whisker.

Vijayveer Sidhu

Vijayveer Sindhu was another prime medal contender for India in the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol event, besides Anish Bhanwala. However, the shooter finished ninth in the qualifications with a score of 581 and just failed to move to the ranking round. This was Sidhu’s first World Cup event in 2023 as he didn’t participate in the Cairo leg of the ISSF World Cup 2023. India had skipped the World Cup stage which took place in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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