Apurvi Chandela of Rajasthan beat a strong field to bag the women’s air rifle gold in the Sahara 56th National shooting championship on Monday.
The 19-year-old Apurvi beat Pooja Ghatkar of Maharashtra by 0.2 points with a 10.7 last shot. In fact, both were tied after nine shots, and it was a gutsy fare by Apurvi who tallied 103.7 in the final after having trailed Pournima Zanane by one point in qualification.
Former champion and National record holder, Pournima clinched the bronze 0.2 point ahead of the World championship finalist Avneet Sidhu. Lajja Gauswami and Nikita Salunke had also led with 396, but finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Some of the prominent shooters like Anjali Bhagwat, Tejaswini sawant, Suma Shirur and Mampi Das had failed to make the final. Nikita in particular started with a first shot of 8.6 in the final and lost the race for a medal. She, however, won the junior gold.
In women’s sports pistol, former champion Sushma Singh, clinched the gold ahead of Olympians Rahi Sarnobat and Annu Raj Singh. Sushma trailed Rahi by three points before the final, but shot 200.5 in the final to win the gold by 1.1 points.
“My daughter Dia wanted me to bring a medal and am glad to win this gold after such a long time”, said Sushma, sister of Jaspal Rana. She said that it was difficult to focus on training owing to her one-year-old son, but expressed the resolve to get back into the National squad.
Anisa Sayyed, who holds the National record at 587 and had won gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, finished fourth, as she could not recover from a qualification score of 570.
Surabhi Pathak shot the best in the final with a total of 206.7, but was not in the race for a medal as she had loaded only four instead of five shots in the first series of rapid fire section in qualification.
In the men’s 50-metre free rifle prone event, Sushil Ghalay fought well to make his two-point lead count in winning the gold, 1.2 points ahead of Rakesh Manpat. Olympian Sanjeev Rajput shot up from the eighth place to the bronze medal by shooting 104.0 in the final.
World championship finalist Hariom Singh who could not retain his Olympic quota for the London Games, missed a medal by 0.6 point and finished sixth. Olympian Joydeep Karmakar who had placed fourth in the London games was off colour, as he placed 14th with a score of 585.
In men’s double trap, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore led after two rounds with a total of 96, following scores of 47 and 49. Mohd. Asab was on 95, while Ronjan Sodhi and Shayan Masood had 93 each. Ronjan had rounds of 48 and 45, while Shayan leading among the juniors had 49 and 44.
The one-day competition had to slip into the second day owing to a delayed start because of fog. The third round and the final will be shot onTuesday, and that will push the skeet competition by a day.
Free rifle prone: Men: 1. Sushil Ghalay 695.4 (593); 2. Rakesh Manpat 694.2 (591); 3. Sanjeev Rajput 692.0 (588). Juniors: 1. Lachhman Singh 585; 2. Pradeep Kumar Sharma 584; 3. Aman Walia 583.
Air rifle: Women: 1. Apurvi Chandela 498.7 (395); 2. Pooja Ghatkar 498.5 (395); 3. Pournima Zanane 497.6 (396). Juniors: 1. Nikita Salunke 396; 2. Apurvi Chandela 395; 3. Mampi Das 393. Youth: 1. Mampi Das 393; 2. Shriyanka Sadangi 392; 3. Prajakta Kokane 391.
Sports pistol: Women: 1. Sushma Singh 780.5 (580); 2. Rahi Sarnobat 779.4 (583); 3. Annu Raj Singh 774.6 (573). Juniors: 1. Shreya Gawande 568; 2. Surabhi Pathak 565; 3. P. Shri Nivetha 564.