Sekhon bags historic women's skeet bronze after double gold in pistol team events

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New Delhi, Mar 21 (PTI) The promising Ganemat Sekhon won India's first-ever ISSF World Cup medal in women's skeet after the country claimed both the gold on offer by some distance in the men's and women's 10m air pistol team events here on Sunday.

Sekhon bagged the women's skeet bronze, her first medal at this level, on the third competition day of the tournament.

Before that, the terrific trio of Yashaswini Singh Deswal, Manu Bhaker and Shri Nivetha won the top prize in the women's team 10m air pistol event.

Then, the team of Youth Olympics and Asian Games gold medallist Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma and Shahzar Rizvi bagged the yellow metal in the men's event, comfortably beating Vietnam 17-11 in the final.

Away from the sporting action, the number of COVID-19 cases rose to six after two more Indian shooters tested positive for the highly contagious virus.

The Indian women shot 16 in the gold medal round to finish way ahead of Poland's Julita Borek, Joanna Iwona Wawrzonowska and Agnieszka Korejwo, who managed 8 at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

The home team topped the second qualification with a total score of 576 while the Polish women shot 567.

In the first qualification, the Indians aggregated 1731, following scores of 290, 287, 288, 287, 293 and 287 over six series.

Poland' sequence of scores read 286, 283, 286, 286, 286 and 287 for a total of 1701.

In the men's final, Vietnam were represented by Dinh Thanh Nguyen, Quoc Cuong Tran and Xuan Chuyen Phan.

Chaudhary and Co. led the qualification part two with a total score of 579 while the Vietnamese managed 565.

The Indian men aggregated 1750 in the first qualification while Vietnam scored 1708.

Later in the day, the 20-year-old Sekhon, ranked 82 in the world, shot 40 to clinch the bronze medal at the shotgun range.

The other Indian in the six-women final, Karttiki Singh Shaktawat, settled for the fourth position after an impressive start, shooting 32.

Occupying the second position for a long time, Sekhon missed three birds successively to bow out, leaving Great Britain's Amber Hill and Zoya Kravchenko of Kazakhstan to fight for the gold medal in an exciting final where nobody was willing to give an inch.

Hill held her nerves to eventually run away with the gold medal after a shoot-off with Kravchenko.

However, in the men's skeet final, Gurjoat Khangura finished sixth with a score of 17. Khangura also qualified in sixth place for the final.

Denmark's Jesper Hansen (58) won the gold medal in men's skeet ahead of UAE's Bin Futais Saif (51) and Qatar's multiple Dakar Rally champion Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (44).

Ganemat was third in the qualification with 117, while Shaktawat was fourth with 116.

India's Parinaaz Dhaliwal was ninth with 108.

In 2018, Sekhon had become the first Indian female skeet shooter to win a medal at the ISSF World Championship, as she claimed the bronze medal in the junior event in Sydney, Australia.

Having started shooting on the insistence of her father Amrinder Singh Sekhon in 2015, the youngster completed her hat-trick of silver medals in the senior National Shooting Championship when she won the silver medal in the 2018 championship in Jaipur.

In the selection trials held at KSSR in January, Sekhon had topped qualifying with a score of 120, which was a huge six points ahead of second place finisher.

In the finals of that trials, the Chandigarh-based woman shot 55, which was a clear four points ahead of second-placed Zahra Deesawala.

Sekhon also competed in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, where she finished 10th. PTI AH PDS PDS AH PDS