SAG Shooting: Anjum Moudgil proves her mettle

The fourth day of the shooting competitions of the 12th South Asian Games witnessed yet another clean sweep by the host country.

India's Anjum Moudgil, who won the 50m Rifle 3 Positions event.   -  K. Murali Kumar

It was a close race all the way. And finally, luck favoured Anjum Moudgil, 21, who warded off the challenge from team-mate Elizabeth Susan Koshy in the women’s 50m rifle 3-positions at the SAA complex, Kahilipara, on Saturday.

The fourth day of the shooting competitions of the 12th South Asian Games witnessed yet another clean sweep by the host country as India finished with the gold medals in individual and team events of all the three disciplines gone through, courtesy its seasoned shooters, who have only lost one title out of the seven decided so far.

The focus was on Elizabeth Susan Koshy in the 3 positions event initially even though it was Anjum who had the best card of 580 in the morning qualification. This, perhaps, was due to the manner in which the Kerala shooter took the lead early in the kneeling round, scoring 50.3 and 51.2 through the first two series.

However, Elizabeth was unable to keep up the good work and fell behind Anjum at the end of the third series only to regain the lead through the next three series from prone position. But the 21-year-old Kochi girl was way off the mark through the standing series which helped Anjum get back into the lead.

The Chandigarh shooter, this time around, grabbed the opportunity as she stayed ahead of Elizabeth and Lajja Gauswami, who eventually settled for the bronze medal.

Into the final shot, Anjum had a card of 444.2 as against Elizabeth’s 442.6. Anjum came up with only a poor 8 leaving Elizabeth with a chance to clinch the gold medal. She had to find a mark of 9.7 to overcome her rival but all Elizabeth could manage was 9.3 and Anjum won the event by a margin of 0.3 points.

“I am delighted that I was able to win such a close race, as I have often lost the title with my last two shots. As I looked up and saw the score of 8 off my last shot, I was quite disappointed as Elizabeth is a capable shooter when left with the chance to fight the odds. I was praying as she took the shot and was relieved when I realised that I had won the gold medal,” Anjum said.

India also took the team gold medal in the event with a total of 1726 points, which, besides the contribution of Anjum, was made up by the 576 scored by Elizabeth and Lajja Gauswami’s 568 in the qualification round. Sri Lanka stood second with 1686 and Pakistan third with 1656.

In the 25m pistol, the home team had a clean sweep in the individual event as Rahi Sarnobat won over Annuraj Singh 8-2 in the final. Anisa Sayyed defeated Farhat Nasreen (Pakistan) by a similar score in the bronze medal match. In the team event, India, with 1741 points finished way ahead of Sri Lanka (1654) for the gold medal. Pakistan took bronze with 1631.

The Indian domination continued in the 10m range as well. Omkar Singh took the gold medal in the individual event of the men’s air pistol as he finished ahead of Pakistan’s Kaleemullah with a card of 198.8 in the final. Jitendra Vibhute won the bronze for the home team with 175.1 after Gurpreet Singh, the third Indian entrant, was eliminated after 12 shots.

The results:

Men: 10m air pistol: 1. Omkar Singh (Ind) 583, 198.8; 2. Kaleemullah (Pak) 569, 198.1; 3. Jitendra Vibhute (Ind) 576, 175.1. Team: 1. India 1735; 2. Pakistan 1700; 3. Sri Lanka 1663.

Women: 25m pistol: 1. Rahi Sarnobat (Ind); 2. Annuraj Singh (Ind); 3. Anisa Sayeed (Ind). Team: 1. India 1741; 2. Sri Lanka 1654; 3. Pakistan 1631.

50m rifle 3 positions: 1. Anjum Moudgil (Ind) 580, 452.2; 2. Elizabeth Susan Koshy (Ind) 576, 451.9; 3. Lajja Gauswami (Ind) 568, 429.9. Team: 1. India 1726; 2. Sri Lanka 1686; 3. Pakistan 1631.