Former World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra was at his competitive best despite being troubled by a painful back as he beat Sanjeev Rajput by one point in the air rifle final in the selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Tughlakabad, here on Saturday.

Abhinav shot 207.8 in the final to beat Olympian Rajput, who had topped the qualifiers with a score of 622.2. He got into the lead after eight shots and stayed strong till the finish.

Bindra himself was in fine form in the qualification, though he conceded that he was not at his best after 40 of the 60 shots, as he qualified in the second place with a total of 621.6 following a series of 104.0, 105.3, 103.3, 104.2, 101.8 and 103.0.

National champion Chain Singh edged past newcomer Tejas Karle of Maharashtra by 0.3 point to take the third place while former Asian champion P.T. Raghunath had to settle for the fifth spot, ahead of the champion in the Masters event, Ravi Kumar.

In rapid fire pistol, Harpreet Singh beat Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar 28-26. In a gripping climax, when both were tied on 24, Harpreet shot four to two by Vijay to hand a rare defeat at home for the Subedar Major.

Gurpreet Singh, who himself had beaten Vijay in the Kumar Surendra Singh Championship in June, finished third ahead of Rahul Panwar after getting past the latter with a tie-shoot of 5-1 when both faced elimination on 17.

In women’s rifle 3-position event, Raj Chaudhary of Army struck again as she topped with 448.5 points, 0.3 ahead of Elizabeth Susan Koshy of Kerala. Anjum Moudgil was placed third while World Cup silver medallist Lajja Gauswami was pushed to the fourth spot.

Other prominent shooters — Meena Kumari, Rajkumari Rathore, Tejaswini Sawant and K.C. Hema — were placed fifth to eighth in the order. Anjali Bhagwat and Tejaswini Muley shot 566 and missed the final by one point.

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