Mehuli wins silver in 10m air rifle, bronze for Chandela

Mehuli Ghosh shot 10.9 to take the final into a shoot-off with Singapore’s Martina Lindsay Veloso.

Silver medal winner Mehuli Ghosh (left) and bronze medallist Apurvi Chandela (right) pose for the cameras along with gold medallist, Singapore's Martina Lindsay Veloso.   -  Getty Images

Young Mehuli Ghosh made her presence felt at the Commonwealth Games on Monday, coming so near to a second gold medal for India at the Belmont shooting centre, Brisbane.

LIVE UPDATES

There is no denying the fact that Martina Lindsay Viloso, representing Singapore, was the best on any account among all the eight who took part in the women’s 10m air rifle final. But then, Mehuli, who was fifth after qualification, came back in such style and was almost on the verge of getting to the top of the podium before losing out in a gut wrenching shoot off. In the qualification, it was defending champion Apurvi Chandela, who led the way toppling her own Games record of 415.6 while returning a card of 423.2 following a sequence of 105.7, 105.2, 106.1 and 1062. Mehuli had finished with 413.7 (104.3, 103.7, 102.2, 103.5).

And after the initial five shots of the first stage in the final, it was this young Bengali girl, who led with 51.8, with Viloso at second spot with 51.6 and Apurvi at 51.0. But in the second round of the same stage, Viloso took over and never was to be troubled in any way until Apurvi caught up with her after the 20th shot. The two had 206.0 and Mehuli, who in between had gone to fifth place at one time, third with 205.0.

However, Apurvi could come up with a none too satisfactory scores of 9.9 and 9.4 in her 21st and 22nd shots and thus was left to be satisfied with the bronze medal with a total of 225.3 points. Mehuli, in comparison, had scores of 10.3 and 107 and this propelled her to second spot, giving her the chance to go for the gold medal.

Yet, there was this difference of 0.8 points to catch. The Singaporean through the last round shot 10.0 and 10.4 and it was thereby left for Mehuli to score a magical 10.9 on her last shot to catch up with Viloso.

Truly, for one who was making her Games debut, it was hard ask. But the Indian did just that to force the issue into a shoot-off. Viloso responded with 10.3 but Mehuli could manage only 9.9 and thus was forced to settle for the silver. The total of the two were 247.2. Though all smiles, one could very well guess the sadness in Mehuli for having missed the gold so narrowly. “I just need to improve,” she said.