Ravi Kumar emphasised his consistency as he topped the qualifiers at the half way stage ahead of Olympians Sanjeev Rajput and Abhinav Bindra in men’s air rifle with a score of 624.0 in the 57th National shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Sunday.
It was an impressive performance, which meant shooting an average of 10.4 every shot over 60 shots, but the 23-year-old lad from Air Force was modest in stating that the score was just good enough to make the finals in international competitions.
Ravi Kumar who had won both the Kumar Surendra Singh championship and the Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Masters gold medals earlier this season was right, as Peter Sidi of Hungary has been setting exacting standards this season, including a world record 633.5 which erased his own mark of 631.9.
Sanjeev Rajput shot 622.5 while former World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra shot 622.3 and was happy with the score as he has been battling a painful back.
With Gagan Narang set to shoot on Tuesday after his 3-position event on Monday, the equations may change a lot among the leaders.
Former Asian champion P. T. Raghunath was in a vulnerable spot, having shot 616.7 to be joint seventh with K. Shaji. Defending champion Chain Singh was yet to shoot while the bronze medallist of the last edition, Satyendra Singh was on the fifth spot with a total of 617.8.
In double trap, Mohd. Asab shot 82 out of 90 in three rounds to lead the pack in a field of 56, ahead of Ankur Mittal (81), Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (79), Asher Noria (79), Ronjan Sodhi (76) and Ajay Mittal (75). Two more rounds followed by the final will be shot on Monday.
In women’s double trap, which is not an Olympic event, Shreyasi Singh shot 84 out of 120 to win the gold ahead of Shagun Chowdhary (77) and Varsha Varman (75).
In men’s rifle 3-position event, last year’s bronze medallist Chain Singh led with 1159, three points ahead of Surendra Singh Rathod. The rifle prone gold medallist Rakesh Manpat (1123) spoilt his chances with a below par fare in kneeling as he shot 357 out of 400.
The results: Women: Double trap: 1. Shreyasi Singh 84; 2. Shagun Chowdhary 77, 3. Varsha Varman 75. Juniors: 1. Varsha Varman 75; 2. Malika Wig 67; 3. N. Nivetha 61.