CWG 2018: Shreyasi Singh takes a shoot-off gold

Shreyasi Singh did stand tall, coming out of a nerve-wracking shoot-off, in the women’s double trap, with flying colours and realising the dreams of both her grandfather and father of emerging as a champion athlete.

Personally, it was a great triumph too for Shreyasi Singh, as she improved upon her Glasgow silver, with the yellow metal, on her third appearance at the Games.   -  Getty Images

It was one of those days when things did not move along on the expected lines. Yet, there was a lot to cheer as Shreyasi Singh did stand tall, coming out of a nerve-wracking shoot-off, in the women’s double trap, with flying colours and realising the dreams of both her grandfather and father to emerge as a champion athlete.

Moreover, what really added spice to the achievement of this 26-year-old from New Delhi, on the fourth day of the shooting competitions in the XXI Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, was the disappointment which had come about earlier, on account of the failure of Jitu Rai to defend his Glasgow 2014 title in the 50m free pistol. Personally, it was a great triumph for Shreyasi, as she improved upon her Glasgow silver, on her third appearance at the Games.

Her father had passed away in the run-up to New Delhi 2010 and she was down and out with severe back pain in Glasgow before she struck silver. Here again, she looked likely to be robbed of the deserving gold medal, as Emma Cox (Australia) took the lead that Shreyasi enjoyed in the early rounds, from where she emerged second with 71 shots. Varsha Varman, the other Indian in the fray, was third with 67.

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In the last round, the Indian knocked off 25 out of a possible 30 but still seemed resigned to her fate as the Australian had a good lead of seven points. However, as it turned out to be, Emma could only manage a poor 18 through her 30 shots, leading off to a shoot-off with her Indian rival. Shreyasi got both the shots in, while Emma could manage only one, leaving a smiling former at the top. Varsha was fourth with 86, one less than Linda Pearson (Scotland), who took the bronze.

There was a lot of agony within the Indian camp as the men’s 50m free pistol did not bring the expected result. However, credit should not be taken away from Om Mitharval who finished with a bronze medal. The focus, however, was on Jitu Rai, and expectations of him getting a second title had indeed soared since he took gold in the 10m air pistol, a couple of days back.

However, nothing went right to this champion shooter through the day as he was only able to sneak into the final, placed sixth in the low scoring qualifiers, which was topped by Mithrarwal, with a card of 549. Jitu’s total was 542. The final proved to be a nightmare for the Indian, who started off with a very poor 7.3 and failed to find form, and thus was the first to be eliminated at 105.0 points. Mitharwal looked like overcoming this setback as he joined the leader, Australia’s Daniel Repacholi, after 16 shots at 168.5 points, but failed thereafter to sustain himself before settling for the bronze with 201.1 points.

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Almost the same pattern followed in the men’s double trap, wherein Mohammed Asab looked to be in a better position than his team-mate Ankur Mittal to gain a medal, through the qualifiers with the second position (137). However, he found himself finishing in the fourth place, as the third elimination was applied. Ankur, fifth in qualification (131), hung on and took the bronze medal, behind David McMath (Scotland) and Tim Kneale (Isle of Man). This after he was tied with Kneale at the bronze-medal cut-off point with 53 shots. However, the Indian was denied entry into the final round because of his inferior qualification position when compared to Kneale, who had finished third.

The results:

Men: 50m pistol: 1. Daniell Repacholi (Aus), 546, 227.2, 2. Shakil Ahmed (Ban), 545, 220.5, 3. Om Mitharval (Ind), 549, 201.1. 8. Jitu Rai (Ind), 542, 105.0. Double trap: 1. David McMath (Sco), 137, 74-GR, 2. Tim Kneale (IOM), 135, 70, 3. Ankur Mittal (Ind), 133, 53. 4. Mohammed Asab (Ind), 137, 53.

Women’s double trap: 1. Shreyasi Singh (Ind), 96 (2), 2. Emma Cox (Aus), 96 (1), 3. Linda Pearson (Sco), 87, 4. Varsha Varman (Ind), 86.

Medals table

Australia: 57-48-43-145

England: 25-30-21-76

India: 12-4-8-24

South Africa: 10-7-9-26

New Zealand: 9-10-8-27

Canada: 8-22-17-47