Putian (China), Nov 21:
India’s young shooters touched another sensational high with Manu Bhaker, Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Panwar winning gold medals in their respective events for the country’s best-ever show in the ISSF World Cup Finals here today.
The 17-year-old Manu fired her way to the gold with a junior world record in the women’s 10m air pistol event, while the 20-year-old Elavenil claimed the top honours in the women’s 10m air rifle competition.
Later, another teen sensation Divyansh, who is all of 17, finished on top in the men’s 10m air rifle competition with a final score of 250.1. India are currently top of the table with three gold medals, followed by China (two gold, one silver, one bronze).
Manu shot 244.7 to notch up the top prize in the prestigious season-ending tournament of International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). The Haryana girl beat a classy field for her maiden WCF gold.
In the same event Manu’s compatriot, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, finished sixth in the final.
Serbia’s Zorana Arunovic won the silver with 241.9, while Quian Wang of China bagged the bronze with a score of 221.8.
Elavenil shot a score of 250.8 to edge past Taiwan’s Lin Ying-Shin (250.7). Romania’s Laura-Georgeta Coman finished third with a score of 229.
Elavenil had qualified second for the finals with a score of 631.1 behind Ying-Shin (632.3).
Mehuli Ghosh also qualified for the same event’s final but ended sixth with a score of 163.8.
Divyansh then ensured that women didn’t hog the limelight completely with his stellar performance. He qualified third for the final with a score of 627.1.
In the final he steered ahead of Hungary’s Istvan Peni (250) and Slovakia’s Patrik Jany (228.4) to clinch the top prize.
In the men’s 10m air pistol event, Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary qualified for the final but couldn’t claim medals.
Verma topped the qualifications with 588 but ended fifth in the final with a score of 179.4, while Chaudhary was seventh in the qualification with 581 before signing off sixth in the last-eight stage with 159.8.
Manu had a tight qualification round and was behind at the start of the finals as well. She took the lead after the 11th attempt of the 24-shot final and then kept getting stronger to finish a massive 2.8 points ahead of two-time former world champion Arunovic.
It was then the turn of Elavenil, who first returned a solid 631.1 in qualification to finish second overall quite comfortably.
In the final, she took the lead from the first five-shot series itself and never surrendered it. Despite a 9.4 on her 23rd shot, which gave Chinese Taipei’s Lin Ying-Shin a chance, the Indian closed out with a 10.4 to win by 0.1.
Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil, the third and fourth Indians to make the cut for this event, could not progress beyond the qualification rounds.
Finally, it was the turn of Divyansh and he too eked out a 0.1 point victory in the men’s 10m air rifle final over Hungarian star Peni, but his was a more closely contested final than Elavenil’s.
Divyansh was placed third after the first two five-shot series and only took the lead after the 12th shot. After that, he had an intense battle with Peni, with the lead changing hands at least a couple of times.
Going into the 24th and final shot, the difference between the two was 0.5 with Divyansh ahead. Peni shot a 10.5 but Divyansh’s 10.1 was enough to give him the gold. (PTI)
Putian (China), Nov 21: