Nina Christen of Switzerland won her maiden Olympic Games gold with a victory in women’s 50m rifle 3 positions here on Saturday. Taking a 10m air rifle bronze a week ago, the 27-year-old set an Olympic record of 463.9 points for the gold, improving the previous mark held by German Barbara Engleder by 5.3 points.
Russian shooter Yulia Zykova, who rewrote the Olympic qualification record at 1,182 points earlier, bagged silver with 461.9 points. Her compatriot Yulia Karimova won her second bronze following the one in 10m air rifle mixed team event.
Earlier, the duo of Anjum Moudgil and Tejaswini Sawant in the event continued a sorry show for the Indian shooters, failing to make it to the finals of the event at the Asaka Shooting Range.
Anjum, silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, finished 15th with a score of 1167 and 54 Xs, while Tejaswini was placed 33rd with a score of 1154 and 50 Xs, with the top-eight qualifying for the final.
Yulia Zykova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) had topped the qualification with an Olympic record of 1,182 with 78 Xs, inclusive of a hat-trick of perfect 100s in prone position.
Other finalists included Sagan Maddalena of the US, Jolyn Beer of Germany, Yulia Karimova of the ROC, Andrea Arsovic of Serbia, Nina Christen of Switzerland, Ziva Dvorsak of Serbia and Jeanette Hegg Duestad of Sweden.
Anjum started well by scoring 390/400 in the kneeling position, which kept her in top-15. She followed it with a score of 395, including a perfect 100 in the second series in the prone position, enough to keep her in the top-10.
She looked set to reach the final. But the 27-year-old, hovering around the 8th position, started her standing series with an 8. Her next two shots were just 8 and 9. Her first series score of 94 followed by 96 in second series meant she slipped outside the top-10.
With the final standing series to go, Anjum had given hopes of a final-eight finish with six 10s. But an 8 led to her being out of contention for the finals. Eventually, two 10s and a 9 in the last three shots meant that Anjum finished at an overall score of 1167 in 15th position.
On the other hand, Tejaswini, who at 41 is India’s oldest Olympic debutant, never seemed to be in the hunt to qualify for the final during the entirety of the event.
The experienced shooter had shot 92 with just 3 10s in the second series at kneeling. She shot 98 and 97 but finished outside the top-30 at the end of kneeling with a score of 384.
In prone, Tejaswini shot two series of 98 and 99 with the total score of 394. In standing, she shot 94 in the first series. But 93, 95 and 94 in the rest of the standing series meant she finished with a final score of 1154 at 33rd place out of 37 shooters in the event, ending her Olympics debut on an upsetting note.
India now have just one shooting event left at the Tokyo Olympics. Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar will be in action in the qualification stage of the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event on August 2.