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Ace pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary wins India’s first gold at Cairo World Cup

Saurabh Chaudhary in action at the Tokyo Olympics
Saurabh Chaudhary in action at the Tokyo Olympics

A steady shooting in the medal round enabled India’s ace pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary to win the men’s 10m air pistol gold at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Egypt on Tuesday. The 19-year-old Chaudhary edged past Germany's Michael Schwald 16-6 to pocket India’s first gold of the ongoing World Cup.

Later in the day, India's teenage shooter Esha Singh won silver in women's 10m air pistol after going down 4-16 to Anna Korakaki of Greece in the gold medal match.

The Cairo World Cup is being played in a new format. After the qualification match, the top eight shooters are divided into two groups for the semifinals. The top two in each of the semis enter the medal round. Of the four shooters in the medal round, the top two will contest for the gold medal.

In the qualification round held on Monday, Chaudhary scored 584 out of a possible 600 to finish in the top eight and enter the final stage.

In the semifinals on Tuesday, India’s Chaudhary shot 42.5 while Schwald scored 41.5 to stay on course for a gold medal. However, in the fight for the title, the Indian shooter held his nerves to taste victory. On his way to gold medal, Chaudhary had a series of 9.7, 9.9, 10.5. 10.8.10.0, 10.6 points.

Russia’s Artem Chernousov won bronze in the 10m air pistol event while Ruslan Lunev of Azerbaijan finished fourth.

India’s Gaurav Rana and Sarabjot Singh failed to make the cut for the top eight in men’s 10m air pistol.

India’s air rifle shooters, however, weren’t able to finish in the top eight on Sunday.

Shreya Agrawal shot 629.3 points in the women’s 10m air rifle qualification round, narrowly missing the semis berth. The final and eighth qualification spot went to Hungary’s Eszter Meszaros, who shot 629.4 points.

Aayushi Gupta and Rajshree Sancheti, finished further back at 37th and 53rd positions respectively. Aayushi shot 626.1 while Rajshree scored 624.3 points.

France, Italy and India currently top the medal tally with one gold each. Over 500 athletes from 60 nations have taken part in the Cairo World Cup, with 20 medal sets on offer.

Read: India’s 10m pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary ranked third in ISSF rankings this year

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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