Swapnil Kusale wins silver in Men’s 3P, his first individual ISSF World Cup medal

India’s Swapnil Kusale won silver in the Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (3P) event at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun in Baku, Azerbaijan, early on Thursday, giving India their second medal of the competition.

The 26-year-old Swapnil thus won his first individual ISSF World Cup stage medal. He went down 10-16 to Rio Olympics silver medallist and Tokyo Olympic finalist Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine in the gold medal match.

India now has one gold and one silver medal from their 12-member rifle squad taking part in the competition, moving them up to fifth on the medal table from overnight ninth.

Swapnil played a tremendous 3P match over two days of intense competition in a world-class field.

He first finished second to Kulish in the top eight ranking round on Thursday, before going down to the Ukrainian champion again in the gold medal encounter. Kulish shot 411 in the ranking round to Swapnil’s 409.1 as Finland’s Aleksi took bronze with 407.8. The top two, therefore, finished in the same order right from the qualification rounds on Wednesday.

In the final, Swapnil did put up a fight but the Ukrainian finished strong to put the issue beyond the Indian. Kulish shot four high 10s in his last five shots of the final to Swapnil’s three low 10s and two 9s. He will however look to better the colour of his medal with the 3P team events still to come.

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