Angad Bajwa, Elavenil-Hriday bag top honours at Asian Shotgun C'ships
India's Angad Bajwa bags historic skeet gold at Asian Shotgun C'ships; Elavenil-Hriday win 10m air rifle event
Angad Vir Singh Bajwa shot to a gold with a world record score in the men's skeet final of the 8th Asian Shotgun Championship, becoming the first Indian skeet shooter to win a continental or world level event. Angad shot a perfect 60 out of 60 in the final round to claim top spot ahead of China's Di Jin who shot 58. UAE's Saeed Al Maktoum won bronze with a score of 46.
Angad shot 121 out of 125 in qualification to be tied at second position with three other shooters. Di Jin shot 124 to top the qualification round. Angad then went into a shoot-off to determine the minor positions and shot 15 targets to Al Maktoum's 16 to be placed third. Local shooter Saad Habib missed his sixth shoot-off target to qualify fourth while Kuwait's three time World Champion and Rio Olympics Bronze medalist Abdullah Alrashidi qualified fifth with a score of 120. China's Jiang Yang took the sixth and final qualifying spot with a score of 119 and overcoming a four-man shoot-off.
In the finals, Angad shot like a man possessed and delivered on the promise he has been showing for years, with a perfect 60 out of 60 to snuff out a world class field. "This is the best Diwali gift to the nation. We are all so happy for Angad as he has finally realised his true potential and all his hard work over the years is beginning to yield fruit. I am certain that we can expect better things from him in the future," said Raninder Singh, President of National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
Gurjoat Khangura, the other Indian in the fray, shot 117 in qualification to finish 13th. Earlier in the day, India's 10m rifle mixed team pairing of Elavenil Valarivan and Hriday Hazarika struck gold with a junior world record score. Mehuli Ghosh and Arjun Babuta won bronze in the same event. Elavenil and Hriday earlier qualified for the five-team final in third position with a combined score of 835.8. Mehuli and Arjun logged 833.5 to qualify in fourth place.
In the 45-shot final, the gold medal winning pair made a strong start and led from the start, except briefly going into second after 20-shots, to the silver winning Chinese pair of Shi Mengyao and Wang Yuefeng. They eventually finished with a score of 502.1, which is a World and Asian Junior record in the event. The Chinese pair finished with 500.9. The pair of Mehuli and Arjun were third throughout the length final and ended with a score of 436.9 to claim bronze.
The juniors had begun their campaign on Monday with three silver and a bronze medal with Elavenil finishing third in the individual women's air rifle junior competition and silver in the team format. Mehuli and Arjun had also won silver in the team competition. India has so far won seven medals from the competition with two gold, three silver and two bronze.
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