World Cup silver a confidence booster: Shooter Jitu Rai

Baku (Azerbaijan) June 25 (IANS) Commonwealth Games gold medallist shooter Jitu Rai, who on Saturday bagged the silver in 10-metre Air Pistol at the ongoing ISSF World Cup, said the medal will surely boost his confidence ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

Rai pipped three-time Olympic champion Jongoh Jin of Korea to claim his sixth World Cup medal and the second this year after winning one in Bangkok.

“I am very happy with the medal and this is sure to give me a confidence boost, coming just before the Olympics,” he said.

Rai shot 199.5 in the finals to bag the silver while Brazilian Felipe Almeida Wu won the gold medal with a total of 200. Jongoh could only manage 178.8 to settle for the bronze despite topping the qualification round.

After failing to reach the final in the men’s 50m air pistol on Friday, the Arjuna awardee was focussed from the word go on Saturday. He qualified for the final in sixth place with a score of 580.

His focus on precision was evident, given 22 inner 10s shot in all, which helped him sail through to the finals, despite six others finishing on the same score.

Meanwhile, in the women’s 25m pistol, star shooter Heena Sidhu fired 582 to qualify fifth for what was her first final in two years. She eventually finished eighth, but coming at the last event before the Olympics, this performance will surely give her the much needed boost.

Among other Indians, Omkar Singh shot 575 to finish 28th in men’s 10m Air Pistol while Gurpreet Singh shot 569 to end 42nd in the same event.

In women’s 10m Air Pistol, Anisa Sayyed shot 572 to finish 32nd while Surabhi Pathak ended 34th with a score of 571.

In men’s Double Trap, Ankur Mittal produced the best Indian finish — a score fo 137 giving him ninth place in qualifying. Sangram Dahiya came in 14th shooting a score of 135 while Md. Asab shot 134 to end 15th in the same event.

–IANS

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