Rashmee wins women’s skeet

Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar entertained a packed arena with a spell of brilliance at the crunch as he defended the rapid fire pistol title in the 57th National shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.

Battling his erratic form, the Subedar Major from the Army asserted his fighting qualities as he beat the junior champion Akshay Suhas Ashtaputre of Maharashtra 30-28 after the scores had been tied twice earlier in the gripping climax.

Bad start

It was Vijay who fought his way forward to bridge the deficit after a below par start, which was perhaps keeping in tune with his bad form in the qualification that saw him make the final with an alarmingly low score of 559.

Multiple Asian Games champion Jaspal Rana also shot the same score to emphasise his renowned natural ability, but it was also a reflection of the mistakes that had crept into Vijay’s technique, which the champion shooter himself admitted frankly later.

The cheering and clapping in the arena reverberated on a wintry evening, long after sunset, as Vijay shot 14 out of 15 possible points at one stage at the business end to be on par with the Maharashtra lad. Vijay needed to shoot a minimum of three, but shot two himself to be on par, after the last series, much to the jubilation of the spectators.

In the tie-beak, Akshay could muster only two again, and Vijay grabbed the second chance to win gold with a score of four.

Gold for Man Singh

There was a lot of drama at the skeet range as the former Asian champion Man Singh won his maiden national gold, pipping Arozepal Sandhu 14-13. Man Singh had topped the qualifiers with 120, but was second to Arozepal at the end of the semifinals. In the climax, Man Singh needed to shoot all four on station No. 4 after Arozepal had put the score on the board, and he delivered with supreme confidence and punched the air in celebration.

There was a better celebration in the six-member women’s field, as Rashmee Rathore was quite delighted to do a quick jig after beating the defending and multiple national champion Arti Singh 13-11 in the gold contest.

The results:

Men: 25m rapid fire pistol: 1. Vijay Kumar 30 (559); 2. Akshay Suhas Ashtaputre 28 (568); 3. Pemba Tamang 22 (580).

Juniors: 1. Manpreet Singh 555; 2. Rushiraj Atul Barot 548; 3. Sunil Gurung 547.

Skeet: 1. Man Singh 14 (14) 120; 2. Arozepal Sandhu 13 (15) 119; 3. Shreyan Kapoor 12 (13) 116.

Juniors: 1. Angad Vir Singh Bajwa 112; 2. Anantjeet Singh Naruka 110; 3. Mohd. Hamza Sheikh 109.

Women: Skeet: 1. Rashmee Rathore 13 (14) 87; 2. Arti Singh 11 (12) 85; 3. Saniya Sheikh 11 (11) 83.

Juniors: 1. Jasmeen Dhadli 60; 2. Maheshwari Chauhan 52.

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