15-year-old Anish wins historic shooting gold

Anish shot a Games record score of 30 to claim the top prize in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event.

Anish shot a Games record score of 30 to claim the gold medal.   -  Media_SAI

Anish Bhanwala, who had virtually struggled to get a gun licence to take up the sport, emerged as the youngest ever Commonwealth Games gold medal winner for India, turning in a terrific performance in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event at the Belmont shooting centre, Brisbane on Friday.

Read: Tejaswini wins gold and Moudgil bags silver

The day, even otherwise, was profitable for the country, as Tejaswini Sawant and Anjum Moudgil finished 1-2 in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions, though the same cannot be said of Shreyasi Singh, who on the lookout for a second gold medal, hardly was on target in the trap final.

Only 15 years of age, the young Haryana shooter did not display any sort of nervousness at his first major multi-discipline Games. He gave a good account of the vast potential in him and came out all guns blazing in the final, after having finished the qualification, earlier in the day, on top with a total 580 which constituted a new Games record.

Having finished the first stage with a card of 286 and in the third place, Anish this morning got on top of the field with a sequence of 99, 99, 96 to take the lead and get to his record total.

Team-mate Neeraj Kumar, the overnight leader, was second with just a point behind after he had another great round – 98, 98, 92 in the series shot over 8, 6 and 4 seconds.

The final really showed the class of Anish as he began with successive fives to take the lead and held on to it ever so brilliantly to finish with a total of 30 – another Games record.

The Indian and Sergei Evgleksi (Australia) were on 25 and 24 in the final round of the competition before the former provided ample proof of the killer instinct in him by shooting another 5 whereas the Australian could only manage 4. That gave Anish a two-point advantage.

Neeraj, however, matched his own good showing in the qualifier as he dropped to the fifth position and was eliminated with 19 points.

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