Debutant Sonam Maskar bagged a silver medal for India in the women’s 10m air rifle event at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.
Competing in her maiden World Cup, Sonam shot 252.1 in the eight-woman final, finishing 0.9 behind Germany’s Anna Janssen at the Egypt International Olympic City Shooting range late on Sunday. Poland’s Aneta Stankiewicz took home the bronze.
Earlier, Divyansh Singh Panwar had struck gold in the men's event with a world record score in the final. In other results, debutant Simranpreet Kaur Brar finished a creditable fifth in the women's 25m pistol event.
The teenager, competing at this level for the first time in individual events, had earlier in the day, topped the qualification round with a score of 586, ahead of the likes of Germany's reigning world champion Doreen Vennekamp and former Olympic champion Anna Korakaki of Greece, among others.
Two other Indians in the fray could not make it to the top eight as Rhythm Sangwan shot 582 to finish ninth and Manu Bhaker ended 14th with a score of 580. Doreen and Anna won gold and silver respectively with scores of 39 and 37 in the final, while Hungary's Veronika clinched the bronze.
Sonam Maskar takes early lead but fails to catch up with Anna Janssen:
India continue to top the season-opening World Cup stage with two gold and three silver medals in their kitty after three days of competition. Two Indians, Sonam and Nancy, had made the final after shooting 632.7 and 633.1 to finish the 60-shot qualification round in fifth and fourth spots respectively.
Sonam, however, was strongest off the blocks in the 24-shot final, her 53.0 in the first five-shot series giving her the early lead.
It was quite an unprecedented final, with the scores huddled so close to each other that at the end of 10 shots, the difference between the leader Sonam and Nancy, who was placed eighth at that stage, was just 0.8.
Anna took over the lead from Sonam after the 14th shot as, despite a 10.9 from Sonam on the 13th, Anna’s consistent high 10s bore fruit.
At one stage, it did look that it would be a double podium for India, but Poland’s Stankiewicz pipped Nancy for bronze, while Sonam could not catch up with the experienced Janssen.