Khelo India Youth Games: Gurnihal wins men's skeet gold

It was a brave performance by Gurnihal, especially after he had shot 17 out of 25 in the second round, on way to a modest qualification score of 111.

From left: Anantjeet Singh Naruka, skeet champion Gurnihal Singh Garcha and Abhay Singh Sekhon in the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune on Wednesday.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN

Gurnihal Singh Garcha accelerated to the finish brilliantly in winning the men’s skeet gold, as the shooting competition ended in the Khelo India Youth Games at the Balewadi Stadium here on Wednesday.

The world championship junior bronze medallist and the reigning national junior champion, Gurnihal who is guided by his father Gurinder, shot the last 30 birds straight in the 60-shot final to win the gold with 56 points.

Anantjeet Singh Naruka had the lead at the half way stage, but was not at his best in the second half of the final, and thus was four short than the eventual champion.

It was a brave performance by Gurnihal, especially after he had shot 17 out of 25 in the second round, on way to a modest qualification score of 111.

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Qualification topper Ayush Rudraraju (116) ended fifth while Abhay Singh Sekhon climbed to the bronze medal.

In women’s skeet, Darshna Rathore — a 12 standard student — overcame a strong field to bag the gold, and expressed her joy. Simranpreet Kaur Johal 49-44, was spontaneous in thanking the government for “giving us such a platform to perform’’, apart from the coaches Saumyadev Singh and Ennio Falco for the guidance.

In the women’s rifle 3-position event, G. Varshaa shot a strong final to bag the gold, after qualifying for the final in the fourth place with 1141. She won the gold with 447.1 points ahead of Shirin Godara and Ayushi Podder.

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A Masters student of commerce, Varshaa revealed that her graduation in psychology had helped her handle many aspects very well and develop a better personality.

In mixed air pistol, the Haryana team of Anmol Jain and Priya Raghav emerged the champion, after topping the qualification on par with Telangana. Esha Singh who had shot 389 in the qualification phase, tried hard, but the team lost the battle for the gold comprehensively.

The strong base of Indian shooting was evident, as the 19 gold medals were shared by 11 teams, with Punjab topping the table with three gold, three silver and five bronze. Madhya Pradesh also had three gold, while Rajasthan, Haryana, Telangana and West Bengal had two each.

Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Chandigarh and Tamil Nadu also bagged the gold medal.

The results:

50m rifle 3-position: Women under-21: 1. G. Varshaa 447.1 (1141); 2. Shirin Godara 443.3 (1148); 3. Ayushi Podder 432.8 (1145).

Air pistol mixed team: 1. Haryana (Anmol Jain, Priya Raghav) 464.9 (759); 2. Telangana (Esha Singh, Md. Zainulabedin) 461.8 (759); 3. Punjab (Arjun Singh Cheema, Pardeep Kaur Sidhu) 394.7 (741).

Skeet:

Men under-21: 1. Gurnihal Singh Garcha 56 (111); 2. Anantjeet Singh Naruka 52 (112); 3. Abhay Singh Sekhon 41 (108).

Women under-21: 1. Darshna Rathore 49 (108); 2. Simranpreet Kaur Johal 44 (105); 3. Pooja Vishwakarma 37 (101).