Ram Kishan Yadav bang on target

RAM KISHAN YADAV found the afternoon glare a little harsh but his accuracy wavered only a bit.

A. JOSEPH ANTONY

Ram Kishan Yadav, who took the 25-metre rapid fire pistol gold, in style. — Pic. P. V. SIVAKUMAR-

RAM KISHAN YADAV found the afternoon glare a little harsh but his accuracy wavered only a bit. Not enough though to stop him from claiming the men's 25-metre rapid fire pistol gold in the Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Memorial Masters shooting championships. Looking back, he said his focus was on the target, when it should have been on the foresight.

On duty as a red beret commando with the I Para SF (Special Forces), he was used to the 9 mm Beretta. Here his weapon was a Walther, the bullets a little longer under the new ISSF rules, that had the .22 gun recoiling more. Not surprisingly, his score of 572 fell far short of his personal best of 592. The Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) Subedar however was confident of touching 582 and echoed his outfit's aspirations for an Olympic gold.

Kishan acknowledged the support of his coach, mentor and good friend Subedar Major Dhyan Singh. The flip side to his international fame was that many in his native Akoda village in Haryana's Mahendragarh district thought his national colours were won for shooting, movies that is.

Samresh Jung, winner of the 10m and 50m pistol events. — Pic. P. V. SIVAKUMAR-

The Masters championship rules earmarked medals only for those who figured in the top 10 of the last Nationals at Indore and the National shotgun competition at Delhi. One casualty of this rule was Olympian Anjali Bhagwat, who wanting rest after the Athens Games, skipped the Indore competition.

At Hyderabad, her career best score of 584 in the women's 50 metre rifle three position event surpassed the 582 she registered at the Sydney World Cup. Yet, D. V. S Lakshmipriya with 575 walked away with the medal.

Similar was the fate of Naresh Kumar of BSF in the men's 25 metre standard pistol. In a tie-shoot with veteran Ashok Pandit, Kumar recorded a higher score.

Seema Tomar, who bagged the women's shotgun trap and double trap. — Pic. P. V. SIVAKUMAR-

It was Pandit who however laughed all the way to the medal, for Kumar had finished 17th at Indore, while Pandit himself had finished a lowly eighth.

It must however go to the Maharashtra marksman's credit that his durability in the sport defies wear and tear. In a career spanning over 25 years, hitting bull's eye has become a habit for Pandit.

The sheer repetition of the figure 10 by the official scorer is enough to psyche lesser shooters. Through all this, he can be seen laughing often, seemingly enjoying every moment of the sport, proved by his triumphs in the 25 metre standard and centre fire events.

In terms of sheer achievement, Zoravar Singh Sandhu's 75/75 in the men's trap competition stood out. To prove it was no flash in the pan, he had another perfect 25/25 in the second day's first round. In the final, where only shot at the bird hurtling away from the shooter at speeds ranging between 110 and 115 miles per hour was allowed under the International Sport Shooting Federation's rules, the Delhi-based Indian Airlines Traffic Superintendent missed just two clay targets en route to a splendid 148/150.

For the event's elder statesman, Arjuna Awardee and Olympian Mansher Singh, a tie-breaker with Birendeep Sodhi saw the former slide to third spot. A shift from a Perazzi weapon to a Beretta had not been smooth for the crackshot, who has dominated the event for over two decades.

The results

Rifle: 10m: 1. Gagan Narang 597 (IA), 2. Manoj Kumar 596 (Navy), 3. Sanjeev Rajput 593 (Navy). Team: 1. Navy (Manoj, Rajput, Bishnu Nag) 1779, 2. BSF (Raj Kumar, Akhilesh Rai, H. Salim) 1769, 3. Maharashtra (Sridhar S. Khetmar) 1759.

50m prone: 1. Surendra Singh Rathod 595 (AMU), 2. Sushil Ghaley 589 (AMU), 3. Imran Hassan Khan 588 (AMU). Team: 1. Army (Ghaley, Rathod, Babu Ram 583) 1767, 2. Navy (Satguru Dass 587, Sanjeev Rajput 586, Bishnu nag 584) 1757, 3. BSF (M.T. Sutar 584, M. Shankar 583, Shamsher Singh 581) 1748.

50m three position: 1. Sushil Ghaley 1156 (AMU), 2. Sanjeev Rajput 1150 (Navy), 3. Bishnu Nag 1147 (Navy). Team: 1. Navy (Manoj Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, Bishnu Nag) 3443, 2. Army (Sushil Ghaley, Rathod Surendra Singh, Imran Hassan Khan) 3426, 3. BSF (Raj Kumar, M. Shankar, Vishnu Saste) 3399.

Pistol: 50m: 1. Samresh Jung 544 (CISF), 2. Viraj Singh 539 (ITBP), 3. Ronak Pandit 537 (Mah). Team: 1. Navy (Anil Kumar, Tapas Sikdar, Satendra Kumar) 1603, 2. BSF (Biji V.B., Surender Kumar, T.S. Kanak Raj) 1591, 3. ITBP (Umesh Chandra, Viraj Singh, Raj Kumar) 1557.

10m: 1. Samresh Jung 577 (CISF), 2. Vivek Singh 573 (IA), 3. Ronak Pandit 573 (Mah). Team: 1. Army 1704 (Mohd. Kalamuddin 570, Gurjeet Singh 568, Mahavir Singh 566), 2. Indo Tibetan Border Patrol 1694 (Satnam Singh 554, Umesh Chandra 572, Viraj Singh 568), 3. Maharashtra 1674 (Ronak Pandit 573, Vinayak S. Kothari 551, Abhay S. Kamble 550).

25m standard: 1. Ashok Pandit 565 (Mah), 2. Samresh Jung 562 (CISF), 3. Vijay Kumar 561 (Army). Team: 1. Army 1669 (Vijay Kumar 561, C.K. Chaudhary 565, Pemba Tamang 553), 2. Navy 1646 (Rahul Panwar 553, Harpreet Singh 549, Satendra Kumar 544), 3. BSF 1639 (Mohinder Lal 531, Naresh Kumar 565, Manju Nath 543).

25m rapid fire: 1. Ram Kishan 572 (AMU), 2. Mukesh Kumar 560 (89) (Navy), 3. Harpreet Singh 560 (87) (Navy), 4. Ashok Pandit 560 (43) (Mah). Team: 1. Army 1687 (Vijay Kumar 556, Ram Kishan 572, Pemba Tamang 559), 2. BSF 1640 (Mohinder Singh 534, Poonam Kumar 557, Manju Nath 549).

25m centre fire: 1. Ashok Pandit 583 (Mah), 2. Mahavir Singh 579 (AMU), 3. C.K. Chaudhary 573 (AMU). Team: 1. AMU 1714 (C.K. Chaudhary, Yudhvir Singh, Mahavir Singh), 2. BSF 1705 (Poonam Kumar, Naresh Kumar, Manjunath), 3. Navy 1695 (Rahul Panwar, Harpreet Singh, Satendra Kumar).

Shotgun: Skeet: 1. Amardeep Singh Rai 138 (Chat), 2. Baba P.S. Bedi 135 (Chat), 3. Amit Sanghi (AP) 134. Team: 1. Chattisgarh (Mairaj Ahmad Khan, Amardeep Singh Rai, Baba P.S. Bedi) 341, 2. AP (Gusti Noria, Amit Sanghi, Hoshang Noria) 314. Trap: 1. Zoravar Singh Sandhu 145 (IA), 2. Birendeep Sodhi 137 (IA), 3. Mansher Singh 137 (AP). Team: 1. AP (Kynan Chenai, Mansher Singh, Darius Chenai) 335, 2. Indian Airlines (Zoravar Singh Sandhu, Ankur Singh, Birendeep Sodhi) 331, 3. UP (Anant Shivam Pratap Singh, Anwer Sultan, Bhaskar Dutt Sharma) 309.

Double trap: 1. Ronjan Sodhi 172 (Chat), 2. Vikram Bhatnagar 165 (Del), 3. Dil Bahadur Thapa 150 (AMU).

Women:

Pistol: 25m: 1. Saroja Kumari 577 (Army), 2. Shweta Chaudhry 570 (IA), 3. Shilpi Singh 559 (CISF). 10 m: 1. Shweta Chaudhry 381 (IA), 2. Sarvesh Tomar 379 (Infantry Kids), 3. Saroja Kumari 378 (AMU). Team: 1. IA 1116 (Annu Raj Singh, Shweta Chaudhry, Sonal Ramendra), 2. Delhi 1081 (Suvidha Kitchloo, Ankita Chaudhry, Bajesh Devi).

Rifle: 50m prone: 1. Deepali Deshpande 591 (RSPB), 2. Kuheli Gangulee 587 (CISF), 3. Raj Kumari 587 (AMU).

50m three position: 1. D.V.S. Lakshmipriya 575 (AMU), 2. Kuheli Gangulee 575 (CISF), 3. Deepali Deshpande 574 (RSPB).

10m: 1. Pournima Zanane 397 (RSPB), 2. Kuheli Gangulee 394 (CISF), 3. Deepali Deshpande 394 (RSPB). Team: 1. Railway Sports Promotion Board 1177 (Rakhee Samant 391, Pournima Zanane 397, Anuja Jung 389), 2. Maharashtra 1169 (Shweta A. Todankar 381, Anjali Bhagwat 397, Tejaswini R. Sawant 391), 3. Manipur 1149 (Nongthombam Indrasini 386, T. Aruna Devi 382, G.A. Supriya Devi 381).

Shotgun: Trap: 1. Seema Tomar 56 (AMU), 2. Zoya Mehta 55 (Pun), 3. Shagun Chowdhary 51 (Raj). Double trap: 1. Seema Tomar 82 (AMU), 2. Shagun Chowdhary 76 (Raj), 3. Varsha Tomar 64 (AMU).