Shooter Manu wins gold at Junior World Cup

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Sydney, March 24 (IANS) Teenager Manu Bhaker nailed her second World Cup gold medal inside a month, winning the womens 10m Air Pistol title at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World here on Saturday.

She did a double on the day, winning the team gold in the event as well with compatriots Devanshi Rana, who missed out on an individual medal placing fourth in the final, and Mahima Turhi Agrawal to end an amazing month for herself and extend a golden six month or so period of excellent performances.

Just 20 days ago, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, created waves across the shooting world by winning the senior World Cup gold at the same 10m Air Pistol event in her senior team debut.

This comes after the Asian Championships silver last year in Japan to secure a Youth Olympics quota for her country and nine golds at the Shooting Nationals, all in the span of six months.

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On Saturday, Manu finished the qualifying round at the second spot with a score of 570 behind Kanyakom Hirunphoem of Thailand.

Kanyakom was in great form throughout the day and was six points clear at the top with 576.

Also Kanyakom, even though still a junior, was a far more experienced than Manu, having represented her country at the Asian Games in Incheon, way back in 2014.

She shot off the blocks very strong in the final as well and appeared to be peaking just at the right time, when she edged ahead of Manu at the end of the 20th shot of the 24-shot final.

The duo were well clear of the chasing pack of six from the very onset of the final. At the end of the 22nd shot, Kanyakom was a point clear of Manu and had a lead of 0.9 on the last shot.

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Manu shot a 9.8 while Kanyakom faltered with a 7.9 to seal the deal for the Indian. Manu finished with 235.9 to Kanyakom’s 234.9 while Kaiman Liu of China got the bronze with 214.2.

After briefly being in contention for the bronze, India’s Devanshi Rana finished fourth with a finals score of 195.3.

The Indian trio of Manu, Devanshi and Mahima logged a combined 1693 to win the team gold ahead of China (silver with 1681) and Thailand (bronze with 1673).

India also picked up another gold, two silvers and two bronze medals on the day to log a total of five gold, two silvers and five bronze, just behind China who have six golds.

India won the team gold in the junior men’s 10m Air Pistol when the trio of Gaurav Rana, Anmol Jain and Arjun Singh Cheema produced a combined effort of 1718.

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Gaurav and Anmol also bagged silver and bronze in the individual event. Gaurav shot 233.9 in the individual final to finish well behind China’s Zhehao Wang who shot 242.5 for gold. Anmol shot 215.1 to settle for silver.

A second Indian team comprising Anhad Jawanda, Abhishek Arya and Adarsh Singh also got Bronze in the event with a combined effort of 1675.

India’s second silver medal of the tournament came in the Mixed Team Trap event where Manisha Keer partnered Ali Aman Elahi to finsih second with a score of 34 out of 50 hits in the final.

The gold went to the Italian pair of Petroni and Sessa who hit 38 birds in the final. China got the bronze.

–IANS

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