Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Sarabjot Singh gave a raucous home crowd the dream start they were all hoping for, demolishing Ruslan Lunev of Azerbaijan 16-0 in the gold medal match of the men’s 10m air pistol. Varun Tomar also won bronze in the same event on Wednesday.
Though China won the gold and bronze in 10-metre air pistol women, The Indian crowd present in the final range of the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy chanted Jai Shree Ram and clapped whenever the German shooter shot points against China. When asked, some of them said, "Germany is our friendly country."
Sarabjot’s powerful shot gave India their first gold of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol Bhopal, being held here at the MP Shooting Academy. Varun Tomar also won bronze in the event.
Li Xue won the women’s 10 metre air pistol while her countrywoman Qian Wei won bronze, ensuring that both China and hosts India ended competition day one with an identical medal tally.
China strikes back
At the beginning of the final round of the women’s 10m air pistol, China risked losing out on medals on the day after two of their finalists in the men’s event, including reigning world champion Liu Jinyao, finished fifth and sixth, respectively. One of them, Zhang Jie, even missed taking his final shot in what was a bizarre moment in the final.
However, their women's counterparts made up for it when Li Xue defeated two-time world championship medalist Doreen Veenekamp of Germany 17-5 in the gold medal match. Even here, their reigning world champion Lu Kaiman finished outside the medals, but Qian Wei ensured they picked up two of the three medals on offer by finishing the ranking round with a score of 250.2.
Two other Indians in the fray, Rhythm Sangwan and Manu Bhaker, shot scores of 572 and 568 in qualifying to finish 10th and 12th among medal contenders, respectively.
Competition Day Two
Thursday will see the air pistol shooters come back for their mixed team event, with both the men’s and the women’s being scheduled on competition day two. While the 10-metre air pistol mixed team final begins at noon, the 10-metre air rifle mixed team final is scheduled for 10.30 a.m.
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