Indian Army's Sushil Ghaley struck form when it mattered, two 10.7 and eight other bulls-eyes in the men's 50m rifle prone event at the National shooting championships on the fifth day.
He scored a classy 103.4 final round over 10 shots, building on the momentum from a 596 in qualifying to win in 699.4, ahead of a strong field at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Sunday.
Gagan Narang of Air India (696.8) and Shivaji More of Army (695.1) got the silver and bronze respectively.Narang fired a high 10.9 in the fourth and dipped to 9.8 just once in the sixth, settling for second place in the face of Ghaley's streak of 10-pluses. More got it right with 10.8 on the 10th and last shot but two poor shots earlier pulled him down to third slot.
A 10.9 by Railways' Joydeep Karmakar on the last shot set off a buzz in the stands, though Ghaley remained ahead of the pack building on 10.5 in the first and followed it up with nine more 10s.Amidst all this excitement, Olympics quota place holder and world No. 21 on the ISSF rankings in 50m Rifle Prone, Hariom Singh, ended up occupying the 11th spot shooting 596 total.
At the 2010 World Cup in Munich, he had raised the bar to 700.9 (598, 102.9) and remains one of the leading contenders for London 2012. Ghaley said: “This is an important year for me and it is good to win against such competition.”Leading shooters — Sanjeev Rajput, Chain Singh, Surendra Rathore — grabbed other places in that order in the final eight. They won cash incentives and places on the Asian championships squad.
“My 104.5 at the 2009 Nationals at Jalandhar remains my finest final performance. I can do better,” said Ghaley.
Final results: 50m Rifle Prone: Men:1. Sushil Ghaley (Army) (596, 103.4) 699.4; 2. Gagan Narang (Air India) (594, 102.8) 696.8; 3. Shivaji More (Army) (592, 103.1) 695.1; 4. Sanjeev Rajput (Navy) (591, 102.7) 693.7; 5. Chain Singh (Army) (592, 111.3) 693.3; 6. Surendra Rathod (Army) (589, 102.6) 691.6; 7. Joydeep Karmarkar (Railways) (588, 102.8) 690.8). 8. M. Rakesh (Karnataka) (588, 102.1) 690.25m Standard Pistol: Men:1. Vijay Kumar (Army) 574; 2. Mahaveer Singh (MP) 570; 3. Harpreet Singh (Navy) 565; 4. Toshit Kumar (BSF) 564 (12x); 5. Omkar Singh (Navy) 564 (7x); 6. Jaspal Rana (Delhi) 562; 7. Pemba Tamang (Army) 561 (12x); 8. Gurpreet Singh (Army) 561 (8x).