India end best-ever World Cup campaign with 2 more gold

·4-min read

New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) India pulled the curtains down on its best-ever ISSF World Cup campaign with two more gold medals here on Sunday, somewhat making up for missing out on the chance to swell its unprecedented tally of 15 Olympic quotas.

Dominating the event from start to end, hosts India topped the chart with an incredible tally of 30 medals, half of them being gold.

The country also bagged nine silver and six bronze medals in what could be the last major international outing for rifle and pistol shooters before this summer's Tokyo Olympics.

On the last competition day, shotgun shooters Prithviraj Tondaiman, Lakshay Sheoran and Kynan Chenai ended India's campaign with a gold medal in the men's trap team event.

Before that, the trio of Shreyasi Singh, Rajeshwari Kumari and Manisha Keer claimed the gold medal in the women's trap team final after blanking Kazakhstan 6-0.

In the gold medal match, the team fielded by the host nation did not break a sweat as it romped to a crushing win over Kazakhstan's Sarsenkul Rysbekova, Aizhan Dosmagambetova and Mariya Dmitriyenko, taking the number of gold won by India to 14 in the tournament.

Vijayveer Sidhu, Gurpreet Singh and Adarsh Singh looked off colour and settled for the silver medal in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol team event.

The USA's Keith Sanderson, Jack Hobson Leverett III and Henry Turner Leverett won the gold medal with a 10-2 victory over the home team.

'I had hoped that the home range would help me get my 16th quota... the cookie crumbled. But that boy (Vijayveer), he is very young and he shot very well... In the long run you will see a lot of good things from him,' National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh said after the tournament.

The national shooting body's chief was satisfied with the performance of his athletes.

'Athletes morale is high, but, as I had said earlier this is not a marker for Olympics. But it's important that we have done well, because it leaves us morally high, these things matter, psychologically it's important for us.

'We have also set an example for rest of the shooting community so that they don't shy away from not hosting tournaments because of COVID-19. We are making sure that we will have regular international engagements that's why I was asked to conduct this first,' Raninder said.

In the tournament's last event, the visitors led 2-0 at the start before the Indians came back to level the scores. The Kazakhstan team again went ahead only for the home shooters to rally one more time and make it 4-4.

In the deciding round, India shot better to emerge 6-4 winners.

Kazakhstan's Victor Khassyanov, Maxim Kolomoyets and Andrey Mogilevskiy bagged the bronze medal beating Qatar's Mohammed Al Rumaihi, Saeed Abusharib and Nasser Ali Al Hemaidi 6-4.

Together, the Indian team of Prithviraj, Lakshay and Kynan aggregated 494 in the qualification held here on Thursday.

The Slovakians Michal Slamka, Filip Marinov and Adrian Drobny shot a total of 498 in their qualifying outings.

The Kazakhs shot 489 in the qualification while Qatar managed to 466 to set up a bronze medal match ahead of fifth-placed UAE (327).

Kynan, who finished fourth in the individual men's trap to miss out on a podium finish on Friday, had something to cheer about as he ended the campaign on a positive note.

In the women's trap, the Indian shooters, especially the experienced Shreyasi and Manisha, missed very few shots in the final and proved to be too good for their opponents.

Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Shreyasi, Rajeshwari and Manisha scored 321 in the qualification rounds.

Kazakhstan's Rysbekova, Dosmagambetova and Dmitriyenko shot a total of 308.

On Saturday, the pair of Shreyasi and Kynan Chenai missed out on a podium finish as they settled for the fourth place in the trap mixed team final of the prestigious tournament.

In rapid fire Qualification 2, the Indian trio of Gurpreet, Vijayveer and Adarsh was second with a total score of 552, with the three shooting 184, 178, and 190 respectively.

The American team of Keith, Jack and Henry topped this stage with an aggregate of 571.

While the visiting team shot a total of 868 in the qualification, the Indians managed 857 at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

The 18-year-old Vijayveer won the individual silver medal in the rapid fire event on Friday.

On Saturday, he teamed up with Tejaswani to win the gold medal in the 25m rapid fire pistol mixed team event. PTI AH AH PDS PDS