Seema wins silver in shoot-out with Ria; Shagun fails to make it to final
Shreyasi Singh rode on a big lead to bag the women’s trap gold with a seven-point margin in the Sahara 56th National shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Friday.
On a day when Asian silver medallist Shagun Chowdhary failed to make the final, Ria Rajeshwari Kumari performed superbly in the final and eventually missed the silver in a shoot-off against the seasoned Seema Tomar.
Going into the final with a seven-point margin, Shreyasi struggled, both at the start and end of the single-shot final, in which she managed only 14 points.
“I am very happy to win this gold as I had worked a lot, but I know that I have to improve in finals. I am working with two coaches and I am confident of getting better,” said Shreyasi, who pursues a Masters course at the Hans Raj College in the capital.
Seema Tomar, winner of a silver medal in the World Cup in Dorset (England) in 2010, was woefully off-colour in the final, but took the second spot beating Ria, the daughter of IOC member Randhir Singh, 1-0 in the shoot-out after being tied at 72.
The 21-year-old Ria was the best performer in the final, shooting 18 birds, but missed three of the last five to lose her way. Of course, it was a big jump for Ria who took the junior bronze in the previous edition of the National championship at the same venue earlier this year.
“It was very scary in the shoot-off. This is only my second National championship,” said Ria, who had scores of 15, 19 and 20 in qualification.
There was no such redemption for Olympian Shagun, as she missed the final after rounds of 15, 19 and 19 in the qualifying session. In fact, there was a shoot-off for the sixth spot in the final among four, and Shagun lost the second bird like Shikha Bhaduria of the Army.
Defending champion Varsha Tomar pipped the young Delhi girl, Mahima Kumar Mahajan, 4-3 to book a berth in the final. Varsha was the second best in the final with a score of 17 and that helped her clinch the fourth spot ahead of Varsha Varman on a countback, after being tied on 70. The duo finished one point ahead of Malika Wig of Uttar Pradesh.
In men’s trap, Asian champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu jumped into the lead along with Zoravar Singh Sandhu with a 95 while overnight leader Mansher Singh and Birendeep Sodhi followed one point behind, after four rounds.
Kynan Chenai and Anirudh Singh were on 93 while NRAI president Raninder Singh was on 90 as he recovered from a third round score of 19 with a 24 in the fourth. The fifth round will be held on Saturday morning and will be followed by the final.
Chain pulls ahead
In men’s air rifle, Chain Singh of Army shot a 594 to be three points ahead of World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and former Asian champion P.T. Raghunath. He had a series of 100, 99, 99, 100, 98, 98.
In the 50-metre free pistol event, Samaresh Jung had a below par 534 while Amit Kumar Pilaniya fared a shade better with 545.
The lead stayed with Army’s Om Prakash who had a 556. The qualification session will continue on Saturday, followed by the final.
Men: Sport pistol: Juniors: 1. Shivraj Sase 572; 2. Loktongbam Somendro Singh 566, 3. Ajitesh Kaushal 565.
Women: Trap: 1. Shreyasi Singh 79 (65); 2. Seema Tomar 72 (1) 58; 3. Ria Rajeshwari Kumari 72 (0) 54.
Juniors: 1. Varsha Varman 58; 2. Malika Wig 56; 3. Mahima Kumar Mahajan 53.