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ISSF World Cup 2022 Cairo: Indian women’s air pistol team strikes gold

Esha Singh won her second medal of the tournament. India now leads the medals tally with two golds and a silver.

India added a second gold to their medal tally on Wednesday at the ISSF World Cup in Cairo, Egypt with the women’s 10m air pistol team title.

The Indian team comprising Esha SinghShri Nivetha Paramanantham and Ruchira Vinerkar trounced Germany’s Sandra Reitz, Carina Wimmer and Andrea Heckner 16-6, in the gold medal match.

With this, India now has two gold and one silver from the competition and find themselves back on top of the medals table at the halfway stage.

This was also young Esha Singh’s second medal of the tournament, having won an individual silver in the women’s 10m air pistol earlier. These are her first-ever medals at the senior level for India.

The Indian women were on fire right from word go as they topped the first qualification stage with an effort of 856. They followed it up with a 574 out of 600 in stage two, which saw them storm through to the gold medal match, yet again finishing top among the eight teams.

The Germans followed them a full three points behind with 571, while Chinese Taipei and Singapore made it through to the bronze match-up, where the former eventually medalled.

In the final, Esha Singh set the tone with a near-perfect 10.8 to help India draw first blood. They took a 6-0 lead soon as all three Indian women shot 10 or above in the third series of single-shots.

Germany came back to make it 2-6 after winning a close fourth round, but the Indians kept the pressure on with consistent shooting. From 8-4 they raced to 12-4 and then closed it out confidently at 16-6, as both Shri Nivetha and Ruchira Vinerkar struck decisive shots when it mattered most.

India men’s pistol team finishes fourth

On a day which saw six team competition finals across rifle and pistol disciplines, the only other time India came close to a medal was in the men’s 10m air pistol team competition. The troika of Saurabh Chaudhary, Gaurav Rana and Balakrishna Uchaganve finished fourth, going down to Italy 6-16 in the bronze medal match.

The Indian men’s team had come through two rounds of qualification before that, finishing fourth out of 12 teams in round one of qualification and then third out of the top eight teams in round two to earn a shot at a medal.

In fact Saurabh, Gaurav and Balkrishna shot a combined score of 581 out of 600 in qualification round two, the same score as the top two teams Germany and Turkey. However, while Germany topped the field easily with 25 scores in the inner 10s, Turkey pipped India by the narrowest of margins, registering 20 hits in the inner 10-ring to India’s 19.

Germany went on to win gold demolishing Turkey 16-0 in the gold medal match.

In the 10m air pistol mixed team event, Esha and Balkrishna could not make it beyond the qualification stage, shooting 567 to finish 19th among 44 teams.

Rifle draws blank for India again

In rifle, Aayushi Gupta and Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil made it through to the first semi-final of the 10m air rifle mixed team, finishing third in qualification with a combined effort of 630.2 from the 51 teams which competed. They finished fourth in the semis with 22.5 points to bow out.

Tokyo Olympian Divyansh Singh Panwar, Rudrankksh Patil and Srinjoy Datta also made it to round two of qualifications, shooting a combined 942.1 to finish second among 19 teams in round one. They also missed out narrowly on the medal round, finishing fifth in round two behind the Czech Republic, who finished fourth with a score of 624.2, just 0.1 ahead of India.

In the women’s 10m air rifle team competition, India’s Rajshree Sancheti, Shreya Agrawal and Aayuish Gupta also crossed the first hurdle with a fourth-place finish among 20 teams. They shot 942.7 to make it to the second semi-finals where they shot 625 to finish seventh overall.

India also drew blank in the men’s and women’s 10m air rifle events on Monday.

Eight other countries besides India have claimed the 10 gold medals distributed so far, but none have more than one yet. Germany and Italy are joint-second on the table with one gold, two silver and one bronze medal each. A total of 17 countries have won medals so far.

Over 500 athletes from 60 nations have entered to take part in the Cairo World Cup which has 20 medal sets on offer. There are no finals scheduled on Thursday.

Photo : olympics.com

Website : olympics.com