Elavian Valarivan’s first-ever medal on the senior international circuit came in the form of a gold in the 10m air rifle category at the ongoing World Cup on Thursday. Meanwhile, other Indians qualified for the finals in other categories and will be looking to end the tournament on a high.
20-year-old Elavenil Valarivan got India off to a perfect start in the year’s final shooting World Cup as she put in a dominating performance to end the women’s 10m air rifle category at the pole position. This was her first-ever medal at the senior level, having two World Cup gold medals and a World Championship silver to her name on the junior circuit.
The youngster had managed to record better scores than compatriots Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil in qualification, who are ranked first and second in the world respectively. While Valarivan and Moudgil had secured qualification to the eight-member final with scores of 629.4 and 629.1 respectively, Chandela missed out as she finished in eleventh with a score of 627.7.
However, in the final showdown, Moudgil had the upper hand initially as she was on top of the leaderboard for the first five rounds. Valarivan soon after displaced her after Moudgil shot a poor second round, leaving her reeling at the fifth spot. There onwards, there was no looking back for her as she continuously shot one 10 after the other to end 1.1 points ahead of Britain’s Seonaid McintoshIn who claimed the silver having shot 250.6. Chinese Taipei’s Ying-Shin Lin completed the podium and also qualified for the Olympics, with India and Britain having already fulfilled their two maximum quotas. Moudgil, however, slipped up a spot further to finally end up at the sixth position.
This was India’s third gold out of four in the category in the year’s World Cups so far but it was Valarivan’s first after she had finished fourth in Munich. The domination of the countrymen can potentially extend to the other categories too after Annu Raj Singh shot 292 to be placed in 12th in the 25m pistol ahead of the rapid fire round. Compatriots Chinky Yadav and Abhidnya Ashok Patil finished behind her in the 17th and 43rd spot with scores of 290 and 286 respectively.
In the men’s 50m rifle 3 Positions, Sanjeev Rajput, Parul Kumar and Chain Singh survived the first elimination round to make it to the qualifiers. Rajpiut shot an impressive 1170 to end up at a comfortable 14th, whereas Parul Kumar finished 10th in his elimination round with a score of 1169. Singh was at 27th having shot 1163.
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