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Khelo India 2019: Cheema and a 0.2-point gap deny Sidhu twins joy of double gold in shooting

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120   //    15 Jan 2019, 10:44 IST

(L-R) Rajkanwar Singh (PB), Udayveer Sidhu (CH) and Mukesh Nelavalli (AP) during the medal ceremony of Men U-17 10m air pistol
(L-R) Rajkanwar Singh (PB), Udayveer Sidhu (CH) and Mukesh Nelavalli (AP) during the medal ceremony of Men U-17 10m air pistol

Pune, Jan 14: Chandigarh twins Vijayveer Sidhu and Udhayveer Sidhu were within a fifth of a point, that is 0.2 points, of winning both the gold medals at stake in shooting on Monday in the Khelo India Youth Games today.

Coming in the way of that dream was World Junior Championship bronze medallist Arjun Singh Cheema of Punjab, who edged out Vijayveer in the under-21 final by the slenderest of margins. Later Udhayveer won the Under-17 gold comfortably.

Vijayveer made a gallant bid to upstage his rival with two very good shots for 10.5 and 10.7 in the climactic moments. But even though his team-mate got only 9.9 and 9.8 with his last two shots, the Mandi Gobingram-born Cheema had done well from the start of the final to hold on to a victory by a wafer-thin margin (241.2-240.9) in the Under-21 final.

Later, Udhayveer ran out a winner of the Under-17 final. He made light of qualifying in sixth place and kept challenging leader Rajkanwar Singh, again of Punjab, until he crumbled in the last four shots. 

Udhayveer trailed till after the 20th shot but followed that up with 10.8, 10.5, 10.3 and 9.3. Rajkanwar’s meltdown saw him shoot 9.9, 9.1, 9.6 and 9.9 and finish second (238.8-241.1)

The twins, who train with D.S. Chandel in Chandigarh when not at national camps, won a World Junior Championship gold medal each in Changwon last year. Vijayveer’s gold had come in 25m standard pistol and his twin had topped the 25m sport pistol section. At the same event, Arjun Singh Cheema won the 50m free pistol gold.

The teenage quartet provided the fireworks in the two finals on a day that started disappointingly with news of the celebrated world junior and Asian Games champion Saurabh Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) deciding against competing here.

The results (finals):

Men junior (under-21) 10m air pistol: 1. Arjun Singh Cheema (PB) 241.2; 2. Vijayveer Sidhu (CH) 240.9; 3. Sarabjot Singh (HR) 218.6

Men junior (under-17) 10m air pistol: 1. Udayveer Sidhu (CH) 241.1; 2. Rajkanwar Singh (PB) 238.8; 3. Mukesh Nelavalli (AP) 216.7

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