Angad Bajwa wins mixed bronze with Haley Dunn

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa helped the host wind up the shooting World Cup on a bright note as he won the mixed skeet bronze medal with Haley Dunn of the U.S.

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa is congratulated by Kimberly Rhode of the U.S..   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa helped the host wind up the shooting World Cup on a bright note as he won the mixed skeet bronze medal with Haley Dunn of the U.S., at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Friday.

In a classy field in which the six-time Olympic medallist and former world champion Kimberly Rhode won the gold for the U.S. with Hayden Stewart, beating the brother-sister combination of Federico Gil and Melisa Gil of Argentina 29-26, the 21-year-old Angad provided the silver lining for India.

The top Indian teams of Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Saniya Sheikh (92) and Amrinder Singh Cheema and Rashmee Rathore (91) failed to make the top six for the semifinals and finished ninth and 22nd respectively.

Qualifying in the sixth place, with a total of 95, Angad and Haley, who contributed in equal measure for the progress with 48 and 47 respectively, handled the semifinal and the bronze medal matches with considerable assurance.

It required the prowess of the eventual gold medallists to beat the Indo-US pair in the semifinals 31-29. Angad had dropped one bird out of 16, while Haley Dunn, former World junior champion who has a World Cup Final gold to her credit, dropped two.

The duo had managed to be comfortably ahead of the Italian pair, the third team in one part of the semifinal knock-out. Italy, which had both the reigning Olympic champions Diana Bacosi and Gabriele Rossetti, missed six birds out of 24 to finish three points lesser than the Indo-US pair.

From the other semifinal group of three, the Argentinians had topped, one point ahead of the second American team. The combination of Nasser Al-Attiya of Qatar and Konstantia Nikolaou of Cyprus which had topped qualification with 99 out of 100, finished third in the group.

In the bronze medal match, Angad and Haley prevailed 28-26 over the all-American team of Robert Johnson and Caitlin Connor. It may be noted that the Italian team of Riccardo Filippelli and Katiuscia Spada shot 94 and missed the knockout phase by one point.

It was some entertainment for the good gathering, even though it was a test event, which may not be part of the international federation’s recommendation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the Olympics in Tokyo.

It was a good outing for Angad Bajwa, who had competed in two World Cups last year, apart from three World Championships earlier as a junior. He was the men’s national silver medallist behind another youngster Anantjeet Singh Naruka in 2015.

Like Angad Bajwa, three other Indian shooters Arti Singh, Jasmeen Kaur and Ganemat Sekhon also helped make teams for Qatar, US and China respectively, but could not conjure any magic.

Saniya Sheikh was the pick of the lot among the six Indian women in action, as she shot 47 including a perfect 25 in the second round.

After it had won the air pistol mixed event gold through Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu in another test event, it was a memorable finish for the Indian team which had placed fifth in the medals table in the World Cup with a gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

The results:

Mixed skeet: 1. US (Hayden Stewart, Kimberly Rhode) 29 (31) 98(15); 2. Argentina (Federico Gil, Melisa Gil) 26 (28) 98(14); 3. India-US (Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Haley Dunn) 28 (29) 95(3); 4. US-2 (Robert Johnson, Caitlin Connor) 26 (27) 95(4).

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