ISSF World Cup New Delhi 2017: China’s golden sweep of rifle and pistol events continues unabated

Heena Sidhu
India’s Heena Sidhu flattered to deceive once again, missing out on a Final berth by 0.1 points in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol

China maintained their Golden sweep of all the Rifle and Pistol events held thus far, with day three of competition at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup (Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun) New Delhi 2017, getting them their fourth and fifth Gold medals of the tournament. They now lead the medal tally comfortably with four Silvers added to their five Gold medals while Italy with one Gold and two Silvers lie a distant second. India lie in fifth place with one Bronze medal along with seven other countries.

In the first medal event of the day, the Women’s 10M Air Pistol, Indian fans must have hedged their bets on Olympian and former World No.1 Heena Sidhu, but she ‘flattered to deceive’, missing out on a Final berth by 0.1 points to finish eleventh. Harveen Srao, however, surprised many by scoring 379 in qualifying to make it to the eight-woman final in seventh position. She had a torrid start to the Final, shooting three scores out of the first five shots in the 8s which put her out of a medal reckoning.

She eventually did well to finish seventh with a Final round score of 133.6. The event also saw China’s reigning Olympic Champion and World No.1 Mengxue Zhang being beaten by compatriot Yuemei Lin to the Gold. The Final went down to the 20th and last shot where Lin prevailed with a score of 240.8 to Zhang’s 237.8. The Bronze went to Singapore’s Shun Xie Teo.

In the Men’s 50M Rifle 3 Positions, India’s hope rested on the experienced Olympian Sanjeev Rajput, who rallied brilliantly towards the end to shoot a score of 1159 to qualify for the Finals in eighth position. Chain Singh finished ninth with a score of 1156 while the third Indian Satyendra Singh shot 1154 to finish 13th.

In the eight-man Final, Sanjeev was in medal contention after the 15-shots each Kneeling and Prone positions but a below par Standing position round, which saw him register many scores in the 8s and none in the higher 10s when it mattered, meant he had to be content with fifth place. Sanjeev later assessed his performance as not being able to transition as he would have liked to from Prone to Standing position as well as strong winds which did not help his cause.

It is important to note that out of the seven medal events held so far, a total of seven Indians have made it to six Finals, barring the Women’s Trap, however, Pooja Ghatkar’s Bronze in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle is the only medal won.

There was also the Trap Mixed Team event Final on the day. It can be noted that this is the first ISSF World Cup where Mixed Gender events are being tested out. The medals are not being counted in the overall standings. Of the six out of 14 teams that qualified for the Final round China 2 beat New Zealand 25-21 in the Gold medal match. The Bronze went to Italy 2 who beat Team Spain 28-21.

Day four of competition will also see two Medal events in the 50M Rifle 3 Positions Women and Men’s Double Trap. In the Women’s event India will be represented by Tejaswini Sawant, Lajja Gauswami and N. Gaayathri, while in the Men’s Double Trap, India’s hopes rest with Ankur Mittal, Sangram Dahiya and the 14-year old Shapath Bharadwaj.

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