Shweta, Raj, Pemba bag top honours in National Shooting

New Delhi: ONGC's Shweta Singh clinched the gold medal in women's 10M Air Pistol even by shrugging off a spirited challenge from Haryana's Yashaswani Singh Deswal to prevent Army from clean sweeping the top events on day seven of the 59th National Shooting Championship, here yesterday.

Malaika Goel of Punjab won the bronze in this event at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. Meanwhile, Raj Chaudhary of the Army won the women's 50M Rifle Prone champion event after she edged out India international Lajja Gauswami of Gujarat by virtue of having one inner 10 more. Tejaswini Sawant of Maharashtra came in third in the event.

Another army marksman and veteran India international shooter Pemba Tamang won the gold in the men's 25M Rapid Fire Pistol event, in which colleague Neeraj Kumar bagged the silver and Wazeer Singh Rathee of the BSF won bronze.

Shweta, who had narrowly lost out to Heena Sidhu in the 8th Asian Air Gun Championship held at the same venue a couple of months back, continued her good form to first qualify for the finals in top spot with a score of 386 and then after fluctuating between second and third till the 17th shot, finally took the lead after the 18th and held on to win in the final two shots.

Yashaswani who is just coming up the junior ranks will get another opportunity to be crowned National Champion, but will not mind the day as she bagged four golds on the day across the women's 10M Pistol junior and civilian disciplines and in both the individual and team sections.

Raj Chaudhary in the 50m women's Rifle Prone event also came through a tough field, which apart from eventual silver and bronze medallists Lajja and Tejaswini, also had the likes of Elizabeth Susan Koshy and Kuheli Gangulee.

Raj shot a final score of 620.2 which was the same as Lajja's but she had 35 inner 10s while Lajja could manage only 34. Tejaswini was third with a score of 617.5. Pemba won the men's 25M Rapid Fire Pistol gold with a score of 27 as against silver medallist Neeraj Kumar's 24 in the final round. Wazeer Rathee came in third ahead of India international Gurpreet Singh.

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