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Shooters Nancy, Elavenil Valarivan win air rifle gold, silver at Asia Olympic Qualifiers


Jakarta: Budding shooter Nancy and Olympian Elavenil Valarivan came up with a grand performance in women’s 10m air rifle, clinching gold and silver respectively at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers here on Wednesday.

Teenager Nancy, the junior world team champion, shot a superb 252.8 in the final field of eight to clinch the top spot. Compatriot Elavenil was unlucky to miss the gold by a fraction of a point, aggregating 252.7.

India narrowly missed a clean sweep in the women’s 10m air rifle final after Mehuli Ghosh finished fourth with 210 points, behind China’s Shen Yufan.

The trio also won the team gold by a distance over Singapore.

Earlier in men’s 10m air rifle event, Rudrankksh Patil had clinched bronze in the individual event, with Arjun Babuta finishing sixth in the final. The duo also won the team bronze along with Sri Karthik Sabari Raj Ravishankar.

India’s world champion marksman Rudrankksh settled for bronze medal after shooting 228.7 in the final, which was won by Ma Sihan of China (251.4), while Korea’s Daehan Choe bagged silver.

Rudrankksh had qualified for the eight-shooter final placed third with a score of 630.4, while Babuta (629.6) was fourth going into the medal round.

Nancy was consistent throughout the final, not having a single below-par score, while Elavenil was unlucky to score a 9.7 in her 10th shot in the final, which finally decided her fate.

Nancy, who first shot into international prominence with a silver at the Baku World Cup last year, shot no less than 10.1 to win her first senior international individual gold.

She was in second place, 0.2 behind Elavenil, after the first five-shot series where both posted impressive scores of 53.2 and 53.4 respectively. Two consecutive 10.9s for the eighth and ninth shots took her to the top after the second and she never looked back.

Elavenil too shot brilliantly, with two consecutive 10.9s of her own for her third and fourth, but a 9.7 for her 10th, proved to be the difference in the end.

Earlier, the 24-year-old Elavenil topped the qualification round with a score of 633.8, while Nancy aggregated 632.4 and Mehuli had 631.0.

What the seniors could not do at the Senayan Shooting range, the junior women did, as Isha Taksale (253.1) Khyaty Choudhary (251.2) and Anvii Rathod (227.7), finished 1-2-3 in the 10m air rifle women junior competition.

The junior boys also fared better than their senior counterparts as Abhinav Shaw (250.7) and Parth Mane (229.6) won silver and bronze in the junior men’s air rifle individual, as also the team silver in the event alongside Umamahesh Maddineni.

Rudrankksh settles for bronze

Babuta was the stronger at the start of the final, shooting a 52.4 for his first five-shot series to lie second.

Rudrankksh found himself at the bottom of a tightly bunched group. At the end of 10 shots, Babuta maintained his position with Rudrankksh coming up to sixth and there was just 0.1 separating each of the top six from each other.

It changed dramatically after that, as local hero and quota winner on the day Fathur Gustafian accounted for Babuta, but Rudrankksh continued to get stronger.

Despite a valiant 10.9 by Gustafian for his 20th, Rudrankksh ensured bronze and went into the 21st 0.6 behind 15-year-old Chinese Ma and 0.7 behind Korean Choe Daehan, who incidentally won the other quota on offer in the match.

The Indian managed to get the difference down to 0.4 after the 21st, but had to settle for third place in the end, with no let-up coming from either Ma or Choe.

Esha, Rhythm in contention

The day also witnessed the first day of qualification of the women’s 25m pistol, in which India is looking to win one of the two available quota places.

Esha Singh was the best Indian at the end of the precision round, shooting 291 to be placed third. Rhythm Sangwan was fifth with 290, while Simranpreet Kaur Brar shot 287 and was 12th among the 50-strong field.

The finals are slated for Thursday.



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