Mairaj wins India’s first ever skeet medal at ISSF World Cup

 New Delhi, Apr.25: India’s Skeet Shooting ace Mairaj Ahmad Khan has given India its first ever skeet medal by clinching silver in the last event of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup (Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun) being held at Rio De Janeiro’s Olympic Shooting Centre in the Deodoro Park area.

Last year, Mairaj had become the first Indian ever to bag an Olympic quota berth in Skeet shooting.

 The 40-year-old Indian shooter lost to Sweden’s Marcus Svennson 2-1 in the shoot-off tiebreaker of the Men’s Skeet Gold medal match, after both were tied on 14 targets after the regulation 16 shots.

 Meanwhile, Italy’s Tamarro Casandro clinched the Bronze. 

Earlier, Mairaj had shot 122 out of 125 in qualifying to be second among the top six shooters who qualified for the finals stage. 

Jubilant with the result, Raninder Singh, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president said, “I salute Mairaj’s perseverance and commitment to the sport. This is an example for not only shooters, but all aspiring young athletes of this country on the trials and tribulations that an international sportsperson has to go through before achieving success, provided you get the right guidance and do not lose focus.”

“I would also take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our Skeet coach Ennio Falco, for the role he has played in turning what used to be our weakness at one point of time, into our strength. I wish Mairaj all the best for the upcoming Rio Olympics and as an administrator this result makes me all the more confident of a best ever showing by the Shooting team at the Olympics,” he added.

This was by far Mairaj’s best ever performance since he started competing 13 years back. 

Earlier on day nine of the competition, Gurpreet Singh of India shot 289 in qualification to finish 14th in the Men’s 25M Rapid Fire Pistol event. 

Also on the last day, India’s rifle shooters Gagan Narang, Chain Singh and Sanjeev Rajput also could not make it to the finals of the Men’s 50 metre Rifle 3 Positions event.
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