Indians disappoint on 2nd day of Shooting World Cup

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Indian shooters failed to yield any medals despite reaching the finals of two events on the second day of the ongoing World Cup even as China continued to dominate the medal tally winning three golds and two silver at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range here on Saturday.

While China sits atop the medal standings with five medals, Australia and Italy have picked up one gold each from the Shotgun Ranges. India is among nine out of 50 countries to be on the medal tally with Pooja Ghatkar’s opening day bronze being the lone bright spot.

In the day’s first medal event, the men’s 25M Rapid Fire Pistol, India’s Neeraj Kumar qualified for the six-man final with a qualifying round score of 579.

It was the young 22-year old Neeraj’s first World Cup final and the inexperience showed as he could not recover from a bad start to eventually finish sixth. The Chinese duo of Jiajie Lao and Junmin Li clinched the gold and silver respectively.

While Jiajie shot a score of 31 in the finals to tie with Junmin, but eventually got the better of him 5-3 in the shoot-off which followed to separate them. Ruslan Lunev of Azerbaijan settled for the bronze, which was also his country’s first World Cup shooting medal ever.

In the men’s Trap, India’s Zoravar Singh Sandhu made it to the Final round in fourth position with a score of 118. In the six-man final round, he was joined by Italy’s Rio Olympic Silver medallist Giovanni Pellielo and Spain’s former world champion Alberto Fernandez among others.

Zoravar fought hard but had to eventually settle for fourth position when he finished tied at 28 points with Fernandez but had to bow out because of a lower qualifying rank. Had he hit his last shot, he would have been assured of a medal.

The gold in the event went to Italy’s 21-year old former Junior World Champion Simone D Ambrosio who shot 45 to push countryman Pellielo to second place with a score of 43. Spain’s Fernandez settled for the bronze shooting a score of 33 in the Final.

Meanwhile, it turned out to be a historic occasion at the World Cup when the first ever mixed gender event was tested out at the start of the day. Each country could field two teams each and of the six teams, which qualified for the finals, both the Chinese teams made it through and eventually China 1 came out on top while Japan came second and China 2 came third.

On Sunday, all eyes will be on former World number one and world record holder Heena Sidhu, who will compete in women’s 10M Air Pistol and the experienced Sanjeev Rajput in men’s 50M Rifle 3 Positions.

–IANS

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