Annuraj Singh competed against herself in the women's 10m air pistol at the 55th National shooting championships, trying to catch up with the score which fetched her a silver and Olympic quota place at the ISSF World Cup in the U.S.
She led from the fifth series in the eight-player final at Balewadi stadium range. Four 10-plus scores in first five were followed by two more bulls' eyes in the next five which enabled her clinch the gold and Rs. 25,000. The statistics flickering on the electronic scoreboard against the champion's name read 97.8 final score, 388 qualifying, for an aggregate 485.8.
Facing world-class competition at Fort Benning in May this year, she had clinched a silver with corresponding scores of 97.6 final, 389 qualifying and 486.6 total to become the first women Olympic quota place from India. “Consistency is vital and my training is geared towards shooting close to international levels,” said the AI employee based in Faridabad.
Punjab pistol shooter Heena Sidhu (484.5) and ONGC's Shweta Choudhary (483.1) kept pace with Annuraj till the finish and ended up with second and third slots respectively.
Harveen Srao cracked a 10.6 in the first series, the champion replied with the same score in the second and three more bulls' eyes were enough to ease into the frontline. Shweta startled with a 10.9 in the sixth, the maximum among eight finalists in action at the 10m range.
Lajja wins 50m prone
The women's 50m prone title was won by Gujarat's Lajja Gauswami, partly making up for a third-lace finish in her favourite event, 50m rifle. In the 50m 3P, Lajja's third place aggregate (673.2) was 0.7 behind Tejaswini. Rajkumari from M.P.'s high qualifying score of 578 eased her way to a national title (total 676), despite an inspired final-round score of 102.9 by Tejaswini. Lajja notched 590 for the gold in prone, Army's Ruby Garg (588) and Kerala's Elizabeth Koshy (587) won silver and bronze.
Final results:Women: 10m air pistol:1. Annuraj Singh (Air India) (388, 97.8) 485.8; 2. Heena Sidhu (Pun) (384, 100.5) 484.5; 3. Shweta Choudhary (ONGC) (383, 100.1) 483.1.Women: 50m rifle 3-position:1. Rajkumari Rathore (MP) (578, 98.0) 676.0; 2. Tejaswini Sawant (Mah) (571, 102.9) 673.9; 3. Lajja Gauswami (Guj) (576, 97.2) 673.2.