Sanjeev Rajput continued to rewrite the record books as he clinched the 50-metre free rifle 3-position event with a total of 1,272.9 points in the Commonwealth Shooting Championship at the Karni Singh Range in Tughlakabad on Tuesday.
After having won the team gold earlier with Gagan Narang, Sanjeev beat his compatriot by 3.8 points. Sanjeev shot a 1,172, a National record after having equalled his own record of 1,170 the previous day. He had taken a four-point lead over Narang following a series of 397 in prone, 385 in standing and 390 in kneeling, and eventually made sure of the gold with a strong performance in the final. Narang, with three gold medals around his neck already, wound up with a perfect 10.9 last shot.
There was more cheer for the Indian camp as Vijay Kumar and Mahender Singh ensured the centre fire pistol gold with a 28-point margin over Wales. It was the third gold for Vijay following his haul in rapid fire pistol. He continued to score heavily, a good sign in an important season.
India took its gold tally to 14, two more than the last edition held in Melbourne in 2005. It also has 11 silver and five bronze medals, for a total of 30 medals from individual and team competition.
There was no further gold for the host, but the young Shreyasi Singh came up with a superb fare in women's trap to swell the Indian hearts with pride.
Leading the six finalists with a 72 following three rounds of 24, Shreyasi overcame initial bouts of nerves in the final when she missed three successive birds, to pin the silver.
This silver was worth its weight in gold as it was a path-breaking effort by Shreyasi, a student of Hans Raj College in the Capital. Coach Marcello Dradi said that it was a “wonderful” fare by the Indian girl as she was the only junior in the final, and that the score could have won a medal in any world level competition including the Olympics.
It was only her second final in an international competition and Shreyasi had improved remarkably as she re-wrote the National record against her name with a final score of 89, three points behind the champion Kirsty Barr of Northern Ireland, who shot a superb 22 in the final.
The scores dip in the final owing to the fact that only one barrel is used for each bird as against two in regular competition.
There was a jolt for the Indian camp as Bangladesh beat India in women's air rifle by eight points, with a new meet mark of 790 points. Priya Aggarwal (393) and Neha Sapte (389) could not measure up to the challenge in an event in which India had dominated through Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur over the years.
There was a lot of excitement in men's trap as World champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu led with a perfect 75 on the first day of the two-day competition. Birendeep Sodhi was third after three rounds with 73, a point behind Adam Vella of Australia. Anirudh Singh was unable to match up to his teammates and could muster only a 68.
Men: 25m centre fire pistol (team): 1. India (Vijay Kumar 586, Mahender Singh 573) 1,159; 2. Wales (Allan Green 567, Steve Pengelly 564) 1,131; 3. England (Michael Gault 565, Iqbal Ubhi 538) 1,103. 50m free rifle 3-position: 1. Sanjeev Rajput 1,272.9 (1,172) NMR; 2. Gagan Narang 1,269.1 (1168); 3. Imran Hasan Khan 1259.6 (1161).
Women: 10m air rifle (team): 1. Bangladesh (Sharm Akhter Ratna 396, Sadiya Sultana 394) 790 (NMR); 2. India (Priya Aggarwal 393, Neha Sapte 389) 782; 3. England (Sheree Cox 390, Sharon Lee 390) 780. Trap: 1. Kirsty Barr (NIR) 92 (70); 2. Shreyasi Singh 89 (72); 3. Shona Marshall (Sco) 86 (67), 7. Seema Tomar 62; 11. Shagun Chowdhary 58.