India opened the 10th Asian Airgun Shooting Championships with a bang as Ravi Kumar clinched an individual bronze in the men’s 10m air, while Arjun Babuta won a silver in the junior men’s event. Apart from them, India also bagged three team silver medals under Deepak Kumar’s leadership.
India’s first day at the championships in Japan’s Wako City, had a lot of positives as they saw seven individual finalists across the three events. Though only two of them could win individual medals, the players’ confident display at this range remains a huge boost, as this will be the same range where the shooting competitions for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be hosted.
Under the leadership of Deepak Kumar, Indian marched into the finals of the Men’s 10m air rifle, shooting an impressive score of 627.5 after the regulation of 60 shots, to qualify fourth out of the eight finalists.
Though former Olympic bronze medalist Gagan Narang missed the individual podium by a whisker, scoring 624.5 points, on his return after a break, Ravi Kumar finished sixth with 624.6. The top three slots went to the China as Cao Yifei led the table with 629.2 points.
In the finals, Ravi faded away after starting well alongside Chinese Song Buhan. The Chinese started dominating from the 10 shot till the very end as he finished at 250.2, with teammate Cao Yifei finishing second at 248.6 as Ravi finished third with 225.7. However, Ravi finally won a medal after reaching three international ISSF finals previously and winning nothing this year.
Fan favourite Narang seemed consistent throughout the final and finished fourth with 205.6. The trio also combined well for the team silver medal with a total of 1876.6, finishing ahead of Japan (1866.7) and behind China (1885.9).
Last year’s ISSF junior world cup bronze-medallist Arjun Babuta, had a better day than the rest as he shot consistently in the junior men’s 10m air rifle event and only ended up 0.1 points behind the reigning junior world champion, Yukun Liu of China. Liu has also won two ISSF World Cup stage medals in the senior category this year.
Though the other finalist apart from Arjun, Tejas Krishna Prasad, could only finish in the seventh position, the duo later combined with Sunmoon Singh Brar to win the Team Silver medal with a combined score of 1867.5.
In the women’s 10m air rifle event, Anjum Moudgil and Meghana Sajjanar made it to the finals, with scores of 417.5 and 415.9 respectively to qualify for the second and fourth position. Anjum narrowly missed a medal as she was defeated in a third-place shoot-off by Singapore’s Tan Qian Xiu Adele. The third Indian after them was Pooja Ghatkar, who could only finish in the 11 position with 413.6.
While Anjum scored 207.6 in the final, Meghana finished sixth shooting 163.4. However, both of them won the Team Silver along with Pooja, logging a combined total of 1247 to finish behind China.
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