Manish Narwal and Rubina Francis claimed India's third gold medal in the 10m P6 air pistol mixed team event at World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Chateauroux, France. In the final, the duo beat Chinese pair Yang Chao and Min Li 17-11, setting a world record qualifying score of 565.
The total for the Indian duo was 274.3. Narwal, the gold medalist at the Tokyo Paralympics, fired 138.7 in the final six rounds. He consistently shot 10s and 9s, but Francis matched him with 9s, a few 8s, and a 10 of her own. With four tens, China's Chao was excellent, while Min stumbled in vital times.
Narwal, Singhraj Adhana, Rahul Jakhar, and Akash will compete in the P4 - mixed 50m pistol SH1 event on Thursday. After winning a gold medal in the mixed 10m air rifle SH2 event on Tuesday, Sriharsha Devaraddi Ramakrishna then became the second Indian para shooter to secure a quota for the Paris Paralympics. Ramakrishna won the gold medal with a total score of 253.1, while Slovakia's Francek Tirsek (252.6) and Tanguy De La Forest (230.3) took silver and bronze, respectively.
Ramakrishna's performance came after that of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic winner Avani Lekhara, who broke a new world record on her way to gold. Lekhara, a 20-year-old from Rajasthan, fired a final score of 250.6 to shatter her own world record of 249.6 and win gold ahead of Emilia Babska of Poland (247.6) and Anna Normann of Sweden in the R2 - women's 10m air rifle standing finals (225.6).
"This event is very important for me as it is the first event after Tokyo. It will help me understand the progress that I've made on various aspects that I have been working on since then," Lekhara told the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI). "It is also my first international event with my new equipment, and this will help me analyze my game further and know further adjustments that need to be made!"
Lekhara, a two-time medalist at Tokyo 2020, said her "target for the year is to consistently analyze my game and improve the little bits. To be a consistent shooter is my aim and hopefully, win medals along the way too." This season's first World Cup was held in Chateauroux, France, and India was represented by 13 para shooters.