ISSF Shooting World Cup: Shazar Rizvi breaks world record en-route to gold medal
Young Shahzar Rizvi, competing in his first ever senior World event, shot a stunning Gold in the Men’s 10M Air Pistol, at the year’s first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun stage in Mexico’s Guadalajara on Saturday. In the very first final on day one of competitions, Shahzar, who hails from Meerut and is with the Indian Air Force, not only beat a reigning Olympic Champion to second but also had a world record to boot, shooting 242.3 in the 24-shot final. Germany’s Christian Reitz, the reigning Rio Olympic champion in Men’s 25M Rapid Fire Pistol, came in second with 239.7. Senior India Pistol ace Jitu Rai, shot 219 to win Bronze.
Starting the new season of international Shooting on a strong note, India won three medals on the day as Mehuli Ghosh, a world cup debutant like Shahzar, also won a Bronze in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle event.
Add to this that Om Prakash Mitharval finished fourth behind Jitu Rai with a score of 198.4 to make it all three competing Indians in the Men’s 10M Air Pistol final. Likewise in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle, where the trio of Mehuli Ghosh, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil made it to the eight-woman final, finishing second, seventh and eighth respectively in the qualifying round.
Shahzar finished second in the qualifying, behind Reitz shooting 579 to Reitz’s 588 after 60-shots. Jitu Rai was one behind Shahzar with 578, while Om Prakash shot 576 to qualify in fourth place. While Jitu and Om Prakash maintained their positions at the end of the finals, Shahzar turned the tables on Christian Reitz in style, staying ahead of the classy German throughout the length of the final.
In the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Final, Mehuli and Anjum Moudgil were in medal contention from the beginning, and after a sea-saw battle between them a 9.9 on the 17th shot meant Anjum ended in fourth position with a score of 208.6. Mehuli won Bronze with a Junior World record score of 228.4 while China’s Hong Xu won Silver with 251.0. Romania’s Laura Georgeta Coman, who won Gold in the Munich World Cup last year and a Silver at the World Cup Finals, came up with a classy display, leading from pillar to post in the final, finishing with 251.5 for the Gold medal.
Day two on Sunday also has two Finals lined up with the Men’s 10M Air Rifle and Women’s 10M Air Pistol scheduled on the day. While Deepak Kumar, Ravi Kumar and Arjun Babuta will carry India’s hopes in the Men’s event, Mahima Agrawal, Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal will be in the fray in the Women’s event.