Host India continued dominance of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup, winning two more gold medals on Friday to take their tally to 12 gold, seven silver and six bronze medals for a total of 25 medals won so far.
Seasoned rifle shooters and Tokyo Olympic Games quota holders Tejaswini Sawant and Sanjeev Rajput paired up to win the day’s first gold in the 50m rifle 3-position mixed team event. They beat the Ukranian team of Sehriy Kulish and Anna Ilina 31-29 in a closely contested final at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting ranges.
Thereafter, the men’s 3-position team comprising Chain Singh, Swapnil Kusale and Niraj Kumar bagged gold beating team the USA 47-25 in the final. India also won a silver and bronze medal.
Vijayveer Sidhu went down 1-4 in a shoot-off to decide the gold medal, to Estonia’s Peeter Olesk in the men’s rapid fire pistol event. Peeter, by virtue of this performance, incidentally, got assured of a quota place for the Olympics. Both Peeter and Vijayveer were tied at 26 hits a piece after the eight allotted series of five shots each.
India’s bronze medal came via their second mixed 3-P team of Sunidhi Chauhan and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar. They got the better of the American pair comprising women’s air rifle Olympic champion Virginia Thrasher and Timothy Sherry, 31-15 in the bronze medal match.
India on Friday missed out on two outside chances to get two additional quotas above the 15 they have already won for the Olympics.
First, in the men’s rapid fire pistol, Anish Bhanwala, by virtue of his world ranking needed to finish among the medals and also hope that Estonian Peeter and Poland’s Oscar Miliwek, finished outside it. An outright gold would have been even easier for him, but even though all three Indians qualified for the final, only Vijayveer won a medal while Anish and Gurpreet Singh finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Then, in men’s trap, Kynan Chenai needed an outright gold to have a chance but finished fourth in a strong field. Former shotgun world champion, Daniele Resca of Italy, won gold in the event while reigning world champion Alberto Fernandez won silver. Valerio Grazini of Italy was third.
In the women’s trap, the gold went to Slovakia’s Rehak Stefecekova, while Poland’s Sandra Bernal won silver and Italy’s Fiammate Rossi won bronze.
On Day Nine on Saturday, the penultimate day of this World Cup rifle/pistol/shotgun stage has two finals lined up — rapid fire pistol mixed team and the trap mixed team events.