Shooting: Sensational Rahi grabs gold at World Cup

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Osijek, Jun 28 (PTI) Olympic-bound Rahi Sarnobat displayed sensational form to clinch the women's 25m pistol gold medal at the ISSF shooting World Cup here on Monday but teen sensation Manu Bhaker ended seventh in the same event.

Sarnobat's gold is India's first in the ongoing edition after the country secured one silver and two bronze medals earlier in the tournament.

The 30-year-old Sarnobat fired a final score of 39 after qualifying second with a total of 591. Her stupendous performance in the final included perfect scores in the third, fourth, fifth and the sixth series.

'After I got assurance about the gold, it was more about technicalities for me in the last few series as I wanted to try out a few things so I was doing that,' she said about her stellar performance.

'This competition was absolutely not about performance or medal because I was trying out a few things which I am going to do in the Olympic Games and this is the final competition before that.

'It was more about trying out things and finalising every thing before the Olympics for the last time and that was just that,' she added.

Nonetheless, winning a gold here has given Sarnobat the belief that her preparations are on the right track for the Tokyo Games.

'...I have to keep working on this up to and after the Olympic Games as well,' she said.

The silver went to France's Mathilde Lamolle, who scored 31 in the final. Rio Olympics silver-medallist in the 10m air pistol, Russian Vitalina Batsarashkina, won bronze with 28 hits, bowing out after the ninth five-shot series.

In the qualification, Sarnobat fired a brilliant 296 in the rapid fire round on Monday. Her precision score was an equally impressive 295 on Sunday.

Bhaker recorded a total of 588 to qualify third after firing a 296 in the rapid fire round on Monday following an impressive 292 in the precision round on Sunday.

However, she was eliminated early in the final with a disappointing score of 11, losing a shoot-off to Bulgaria's Viktoria Chaika.

There was disappointment for India in the women's 50m rifle 3 positions competition as both Tejaswini Sawant and Anjum Moudgil failed to make the finals.

Sawant ended 20th in qualification with a score of 1168, while Moudgil was further down at 32nd after firing 1162. The top eight shooters from qualification make the final cut.

Earlier in the tournament, Bhaker had teamed up with Saurabh Chaudhary for the 10m air pistol mixed team silver.

She had earlier clinched the women's 10m air pistol team bronze with Sarnobat and Yashaswini Deswal.

Before that, Chaudhary had won the men's 10m air pistol individual bronze medal.

This is the last competitive outing for the Olympic-bound shooters, who will go to Tokyo after their stint here. PTI PM PDS PDS

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