Adarsh Singh wins gold in men's, junior's events at Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Masters

In the junior final, Adarsh beat Vijayveer Sidhu 30-27 for the gold, while he won the men's final 27-26.

From left: Gurmeet Singh, Adarsh Singh and Anhad Jawanda with their medals from the rapid fire pistol event. Sardar Baljit Singh Sethi presented the medals and was accompanied by Pawan Singh, joint secretary of NRAI and a member of the ISSF Judges committee.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Mastering the 4-second series is the key to glory in rapid fire pistol. Vijay Kumar had shown the way by winning the Olympic silver in London in 2012. In the last Olympics in Rio, Gurpreet Singh had shot 581 for the seventh place, as he missed the final by two points.

Young Adarsh Singh, the reigning national champion, gave further hints about the bright prospects for India in the event, as he won both the men’s and junior gold in the 12th Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Masters shooting championship which concluded at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Friday.

After stumbling to an indifferent start in the final, when the first series fetched him one out of five, Adarsh strengthened his hold over the pistol by shooting only in the range of 3-5 in the rest of the competition, in the men’s and junior sections put together.

With each shot of 9.4 or more getting one point, and zero otherwise, it was accuracy with speed, as five targets had to be hit in one fluent motion within four seconds. Timing is the key, and the staccato shots, fired with a mesmerising rhythm hinted at the boy’s command.

It may be recalled that Adarsh had shot 583 in the Beijing World Cup and missed the final by two points. He had shot 581 in the World Cup at home in Delhi, and missed the final by five points.

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Of course, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a shooter of considerable potential, Anish Bhanwala had restricted himself only to the qualification stage, in which he was too strong in shooting 589 out of 600.

In comparison, Adarsh had shot 584 in topping the field in qualification, and it had a 92 in the 4-second series. It augurs well for India’s pursuit of the Olympic quota place in the next World Cup in Rio.

Gurmeet Singh of the Army matched the Haryana lad shot for shot in the second half of the men’s final, but Adarsh had established a one-point lead, which proved the difference in the end. It was indeed a thriller for Adarsh, after that start of one in the first series.

Anhad Jawanda, who also shot one in the first series, won the bronze ahead of Bhavesh Shekhawat who stumbled after a bright start, that saw him being on par with Adarsh at the half way stage.

Thomas George from Kerala took the fifth place, leaving the experienced Harpreet Singh in the sixth spot.

For the record, Olympian Gurpreet lost his way with a below par fare in the 4-second series, that saw him score 82 out of 100 in the second stage and finish with 570. It would have been a lot more lively, had Gurpreet, who has been winning the other gold medals in the 25-metre
events, made the final.

In the junior final, Adarsh beat Vijayveer Sidhu 30-27 for the gold, while Ayush Sangwan took the bronze ahead of Udhayveer Sidhu, Ayush Jidal and Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu.

The former secretary general of NRAI, Baljit Singh Sethi, presented the medals. The championship was being held in the memory of Sardar Sajjan Sethi, who was the father of Baljit Sethi, and was the first administrator of the shooting range.

The results

25m rapid fire pistol

Men: 1. Adarsh Singh 27 (584); 2. Gurmeet Singh 26 (575); 3. Anhad Jawanda 22 (575)

Juniors: 1. Adarsh Singh 30 (584); 2. Vijayveer Sidhu 27 (572); 3. Ayush Sangwan 21 (569)