Brisbane : Heena Sidhu claimed the 10m air pistol gold, while Deepak Kumar fetched a silver in the 10m air rifle event to give India a fine start at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships.
Sidhu shot a combined score of 626.2 (386+240.8) to claim the top honours. This was Sidhu’s second successive international gold after she, along with Jitu Rai, claimed the top position in the 10m air pistol mixed team event in the ISSF World Cup Finals in Delhi earlier this month. Among other Indians in fray here, Deepak Kumar won a bronze medal in the 10m air rifle event. London Olympic bronze-medallist Gagan Narang finished fourth in the same event, while Ravikumar ended fifth. Narang shot 626.2 in the qualification to create Commonwealth record. Sidhu was strong through the day, topping qualification with a high score of 386, her best in international competition since the 387 she shot at the Asian Championship in Delhi two years ago. In the final, Sidhu opened up a gap of over two points after the first five shot series itself over her nearest rival and led throughout, nailing the title with a perfect 10.9 in the 23rd and penultimate shot.
Elena Galiabovitch of Australia won the silver medal with a score of 238.2 to Heena’s 240.8 while Kristy Gillman, also from the host country, won Bronze with 213.7 India’s Harveen Srao finished fourth in the final with a score of 194.1 while the third Indian, Shri Nivetha Paramanantham was the fourth finalist to be eliminated. She finished fifth with a finals score of 174.5
In the men’s 10m air rifle, Narang, first shattered the Commonwealth qualification record to top qualification with a score of 626.2. Two other Indians, Ravi Kumar, in second with 625, and Deepak Kumar, in fifth with 620.3, qualified for the eight-man final. However, Australian teenager Alex Hoberg stole the show in the final, claiming gold with a score of 247.6 after the allotted 24 shots. His compatriot Jack Rossiter challenged him till the end to win Silver with 245.5. The Indians finished third, fourth and fifth with Deepak claiming bronze with 224.2. Narang shot 203 to finish fourth while Ravi finished fifth with a final round score of 182.2.
In the women’s Skeet, India’s Rashmmi Rathore made the six-woman final with a qualification round score of 65 out of 75. She eventually finished sixth. Two other Indians, Maheshwari Chauhan and Sania Sheikh, shot 64 and 62 respectively to miss out on a shot at the medals.