SAG: Apurvi Chandela leads India to 1-2-3 in 10m air rifle

Indian Apurvi Chandela was bang on target as she struck the gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle on the opening day of the shooting competitions.

Apurvi Chandela (centre) won the gold, while Elizabeth Susan Koshy (right) and Pooja Ghatkar took silver and bronze respectively.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Indian Apurvi Chandela was bang on target as she struck the gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle on the opening day of the shooting competitions in the 12th South Asian Games at the SAA shooting complex here on Wednesday.

Much as expected, the 23-year-old Jaipur shooter, who topped the morning qualifiers with a score card of 419.8 points, was always in control during the afternoon displaying sound composure and concentration. Perhaps the only time that this 2014 CWG gold medallist faltered was when she recorded a 9.8 in the second shot of the first sequence of three shots.

The rest were all 10s and more as Chandela wrested the lead from compatriot Elizabeth Susan Koshy and topped the charts with 209.0. The Kerala girl, who was third in the qualifiers with 411.0, too had a good final as she finished second behind Chandela with a 207.1. Pooja Ghatkar had been eliminated with a score of 185.9, but she finished third and it was a clean sweep by India.

The trio with a combined total of 1248.5 points also helped India to the team gold medal ahead of Sri Lanka (1218.4) and Bangladesh (1215.7), the qualification scores of individual shooters being counted for the final placing.

Indian pride was, however, dented in the men’s 50m pistol as Ahmed Sakil (Bangladesh) collared the individual gold by outshooting his Indian rival Om Prakash in a tense final.

Sakil with a score of 527 was ranked seventh, overall, after the qualifiers, but turned out to be the one to hold his nerve in the final. Omkar Singh, the leader of the pack in qualification with 550, was eliminated after four rounds and P. N. Prakash, the other Indian in the fray, took the exit door after the seventh round.

With Kalimullah Khan (Pakistan) too leaving the arena after the eighth round, the Bangladeshi held on to his early lead even after coming up with poor 6.9 off his last shot, winning the title by a narrow margin of 0.3 points. Sakil was credited with a card of 187.6 as he took the pole position, leaving Om Prakash in the second spot with 187.3 points.

India, nevertheless, won the team title for the event with a total of 1622, far ahead of Pakistan (1583) and Bangladesh (1575) which took the second and third spots.

The results:

Men: 50m pistol: 1. Ahmed Sakil (Ban), (527, 187.6), 2. Om Prakash (Ind), (550, 187.3), 3. Kalimullah Khan (Pak), (538, 165.9). Team: 1. India (Om Prakash, 550, P. N. Prakash 540, Om Prakash 532), 1622, 2. Pakistan, 1583, 3. Bangladesh, 1575.

Women: 10m air rifle: 1. Apurvi Chandela (Ind), (419.8, 209.0), 2. Elizabeth Susan Koshy (Ind), (411.0, 207.1), 3. Pooja Ghatar (India), (417.7, 185.9). Team: India, 1248.5, 2. Sri Lanka, 1216.4, 3. Bangladesh, 1215.7.