New Delhi: Ace shooters Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu brought joy to the Indian squad competing at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rife/Pistol stage at Gabala, Azerbaijan, when they clinched gold in the 10m mixed team air pistol event by beating Russia 7-6 in the finals on Monday.
France beat Iran by an identical score to win the bronze in the event.
Earlier on Sunday, Day Four of competitions at the Gabala World Cup, both Jitu and Heena had narrowly missed making the final of the individual Men’s and Women’s 10m Air Pistol event, when they finished 12th and 9th in their respective qualification rounds. Only the top eight make it through to the final.
Although the Mixed Team events are not being considered for the medal tally at the World Cup stage this year, they have been approved as Medal events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in a recent official communique. This heralds well for the pair of Jitu and Heena as this was their second Gold World Cup stage gold together, having won the event in the New Delhi World Cup earlier this year.
China have been leading the medal tally at Gabala with three out of the seven Gold medals won so far and a total of six medals.
A total of 430 athletes from 45 countries are competing for medals at Gabala World Cup which will be the last chance for Rifle and Pistol shooters to qualify for the year end showpiece- the ISSF World Cup Finals (WCF), which has the eight best shooters of the world in each Olympic discipline along with reigning Olympic and World Championship medalists and wild-cards squaring-off with each other.