ISSF World Cup: Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu win gold in mixed Team 10m air pistol event

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ISSF World Cup: Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu win gold in mixed Team 10m air pistol event

no photo

SportsCafe Desk


Indian pair Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu have won the ‘gold badge’ in the 10m air pistol event - although a format not recognized by the Olympic council - at the ISSF World Cup on Monday. The event introduced for the first time has garnered widespread support for being more spectator-friendly.

Jitu Rai, who was the only shooter to clinch gold at the 2014 Asian Olympic Games at Incheon and has several World Cup medals to his credit, paired with Heena Sidhu for the event. The duo put a brake on a string of disappointing performances by the Indian shooters, who have managed to get only one bronze medal (Pooja Ghatkar in 10m air rifle) by winning the top honours in the newly added event.

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has introduced the mixed events for the first time to add more excitement to the discipline which has been an individual sport so far. It was added chiefly to bring unpredictability to the sport where despite one shooter’s good performance, the other one could bring the score down. But, it still awaits the official status from the International Olympic Council (IOC). 

Australia coach Petr Kurka threw his weight behind the new format and said, “That’s the stuff shooting needs. People should talk about it instead of just sit, clap and go home.

“When you see one shooter do well and his teammate, kind of, mess up the hard work, you end up comparing. From a spectator’s point of view, this is good,” he added.

The new format, however, has also received opposition from some quarters as Hungary’s Peter Sidi, who won a silver in the 10m air rifle event, called it ‘boring’. 

“It’s just playing, you know. Like passing time. This is not a real event,” Sidi said. “Nobody knows what is happening. We are just learning the event as it was being played. The rules could be better. It is a little bit boring.”

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