Sanjeev Rajput claims gold in 50m rifle three positions

Sanjeev Rajput won the gold medal in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event with a games record.

Sanjeev Rajput on the podium after winning gold in men's 50m rifle 3 positions shooting final.   -  AFP

An extraordinary performance on Saturday marked the brilliance of Sanjeev Rajput, who for long has been living in the shadows of his more illustrious team-mates.

The 37-year-old Naval officer came out of his shell entered a zone of his own to help India gain the men's 50m rifle 3-positions gold at the Belmont shooting centre in Brisbane.

This being the concluding day, the card had only two events for India’s shooters. India failed to clinch any medal in men’s trap; both Kynan Chenai (117) and Manavjit Sandhu (115) failed to get to the final. But Rajput's clinical display was enough to usher the cheers within the Indian camp.

That he was the man to beat was evident at the qualification stage itself, when Rajput scaled the Games record by returning an incredible total of 1186 over three legs — 391 in kneeling, 399 in prone and 390 in standing.

One-horse race

Team-mate Chain Singh was not far behind Rajput at this stage, taking the second position with a total of 1166 – 389 in kneeling, 398 in prone and 378 in standing. However, it was to turn into a one-horse race in the final after Rajput trailed Grzegorz Sych (Canada) in the kneeling and prone stage when the competition reached its end phase — standing elimination.

Read: Manika Batra wins India's first women's singles gold

In the end, the Indian finished with 454.6 points — another Games record — while Sych and Dean Bale (England) took the second and third spots. Chain, unable to match his initial performance, wound up fifth with 419.1 points.

This is Raput’s first gold medal in three appearances in the Games, his earlier best being the silver he picked in Glasgow 2014.

The result

Men

50m rifle 3 positions: 1. Sanjeev Rajput, 1186, 454.6, 2. Grzegorz Sych (CAN), 1145, 448.4, 3.Dean Bale (ENG), 1163, 441.2.

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