Juma Almaktoum of the UAE won the gold in double trap, as Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore settled for the bronze in the Asian Shotgun championship at the New Moti Bagh Gun Club here on Saturday.
In a picturesque setting and bright weather, Juma asserted his class as he beat Fehaid Aldeehani of Kuwait by two points. He had enjoyed a three-point lead going into the final, as he had shot 139 following rounds of 44, 49 and 46. That cushion proved sufficient for Juma, who had won the Asian Championship gold earlier in the season in Doha.
Two-time Olympic medallist Aldeehani, who had won the trap bronze in the London Games and missed the double trap bronze, was a class act in the final when he shot 48.
Rathore was quite solid in the final with a round of 47, but 136 in the qualification pulled the defending champion down to the bronze.
It was a courageous effort by Rathore, who had shot a world record 148 in qualification in Kuala Lumpur in the last edition, to have fought so well, when his fortunes dipped with a round of 41. He had shot 47 and 48 in the first and third rounds of qualification.
Having gone through a surgery in his leg recently, Rathore said that he was happy with his performance and that he was looking forward to the application of new rules from next year, which will force everyone to review their technique, equipment, approach etc.
Asian Games champion and World Cup Final silver medallist, Ronjan Sodhi was off colour and failed to make the final following a score of 129. He had rounds of 43, 42 and 44.
He said that it was difficult to stay focused at the end of a demanding season, and said that he would start his work to get ready to face the new scenario in the world of shooting with changed formats.
Juma Almaktoum won the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Memorial Indian Open Grand Prix gold as well as he pipped Fehaid Aldeehani 4-3 in the tie-shoot, in another gripping final, shot soon after the final of the Asian event.
“Asian Championship gold was important, because tomorrow is our national day. It wasn’t easy.
“The Grand Prix gold was a bonus. They are all good shooters, and if you are lucky things go your way on the day,” said Juma, quite modest about his double triumph.
The Grand Prix winner was presented $6,000 and the runner-up $4,000.
Mohd. Asab, who had shot 137 in qualification but did not make the final as he was competing in the MQS section of the Asian event, won the Grand Prix bronze and pocketed $3,000.
The results: Double trap: 1. Juma Almaktoum (UAE) 186 (139), 2. Fehaid Aldeehani (Kuw) 184 (136), 3. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore 183 (136), 6. Sangram Dahiya 168 (131), 9. Ronjan Sondhi 129.
MQS: Mohd. Asab 137, Ankur Mittal 130.
Team: 1. UAE 401, 2. India 396, 3. Kuwait 392.
Grand Prix: 1. Juma Almaktoum (UAE) 182 (4) 139, 2. Fehaid Aldeehani (Kuw) 182 (3) 136, 3. Mohd. Asab 181 (137), 4. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore 180 (136).
Team: 1. UAE 405, 2. Kuwait 392, 3. Oman 336.
Keywords: Asian Shotgun championship