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Ronjan Sodhi bags gold medal at the National Shooting Championships

1.35K   //    24 Dec 2013, 12:15 IST
Gold medalist Ronjan Sodhi

Gold medalist Ronjan Sodhi

Ronjan Sodhi won his maiden Double Trap gold medal at the National shooting championships on Monday, a title that had dodged him for some time now. The 9-time gold medal winner on the international stage expressed his delight on his achievement.

“I am happy to win this gold. Of course, it is just the start and the focus is to do well in the Commonwealth and Asian Games apart from the World Championship,” said Sodhi, who has been a gold medallist at the Asian Games.

The 34-year-old did it the hard way, qualifying only in fifth place with a score of 128. However, fortune favoured him as he climbed one place to fourth after defending champion and rival Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore announced he would not compete in the finals.

The coast was clear for the Arjuna awardee, as the finalist and former champion Ajay Mittal showed scant resistance. Sodhi scored an impressive 28 out of 30, missing only his first and last bird, to clinch the gold.

Elsewhere, in the free rifle 3-position event, Olympian Sanjeev Rajput was in stellar form as he beat Gagan Narang in the qualification round. Narang was playing his first tournament after being sidelined for several months due to injury. Although Rajput scored an impressive 1174 to qualify, the 32-year-old admitted he needed to raise his game for the finals.

Olympic and World Championship medallist Narang was not too disappointed by the loss.

“It is just the beginning, and we have a long year ahead. Need to peak at the right time,” said Narang.