Team India defeated Singapore 17-13 in a dramatic gold medal match in the Women's 25M Pistol team category on the last day of the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in Cairo. It was India's third gold event. The team of Rahi Sarnobat, Esha Singh, and Rhythm Sangwan won the top honours for the country.
Esha had already won the Women's 10M Air Pistol team event, as well as the silver she had won in the Women's 10M Air Pistol solo event, making this her second gold and third medal of the World Cup.
Shriyanka Sadangi and Akhil Sheoran won the bronze medal match in the 50M Rifle 3-Positions (3P) Mixed Team competition, defeating Austria's Rebecca Koeck and Gernot Rumpler 16-10.
Few could have predicted the drama that would ensue as the Indian ladies opened their gold medal match with six hits out of 15 to Singapore's four to grab a 2-0 lead. The scores were locked at 3-3 at the completion of the third series of five shots each for each member, and coach Samaresh Jung requested a time-out because Esha had registered back-to-back blanks.
That appeared to calm tensions, and India took the lead again, 7-3, with the seasoned Rahi coming into her own and recording five hits in the fifth series. Singapore, on the other hand, battled back hard to win the following three series and seize the match lead for the first time. India stormed back to win the ninth series 12-7, bringing the match back to 9-9.
The pendulum continued to swing over the next four series, with the two teams tied at 13-13 at the end of the 13th. Then, with a 10-8 score, India took the 14th series to move into the 15th series with a 15-13 lead and a point to spare.
Both teams nailed all three shots to start the 15th, but it was the Singaporeans who blinked first, posting blanks over the following six strokes to hand India the championship and gold.
Shriyanka and Akhil of India qualified fifth out of 34 teams in the 50M Rifle 3-Positions Mixed Team competition in round one, with a combined score of 872 out of 900, and then finished third out of the top eight teams in round two, with a score of 581 out of 600, to advance to the bronze medal match against Austria, who finished fourth in the round. Norway won gold in the event, defeating Germany.
Bhavesh Shekhawat finished 12th with 576 and Anish Bhanwala finished 18th with 571 in the Men's 25M Rapid Fire Pistol event. With 554 points, Gurpreet Singh was in 32nd place.
On Monday, the Cairo World Cup's last two medals will be determined in Team events, and India, which is now second in the medal total, will undoubtedly try for the top spot.