Mehuli Ghosh and Tushar Mane today became the first Indian shooters to secure their spots at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) by winning a gold and bronze each at the 10th Asian Airgun championship in Wako City, Japan, on Saturday.
Mehuli and Samiksh Dhingra emphasised the strength of women’s shooting in the country as they won the youth and junior air rifle gold medals respectively.
Mehuli shot the best final of the day, as she reached a total of 250.5, which helped her beat Gao Mingwei of China by 0.1 point for the gold. Mehuli had topped the qualification with 420.6, comfortably ahead of Gao, and was consistent to be ahead in the final except for four shots, midway through the 24-shot series.
Together with Kavi Rakshna and Shreya Agrawal who could not make the final, Mehuli hauled the team to the bronze medal behind China and Korea.
READ: India wins two individual and three team medals
It was almost a similar story for Samiksha in the junior women’s event. She won the gold with 249.6, with a 0.1 point margin over Zhang Yu, after having qualified in the eighth place. In fact, Samiksha had the most thrilling climax as she shot 10.9 and 10.5 on the last two shots to beat the Chinese who had enjoyed a 1.5 point lead before the last two shots.
Shreya Saksena also made the final but placed eighth. Despite Manini Kaushik placing 16th, the Indian team managed to clinch the bronze behind China and Iran.
It was slightly different in the youth men’s event, as Tushar bagged the individual bronze as he missed a better medal by 0.1 point, but together with Hriday Hazarika who also made the final and Mohit Kumar Agnihotri, won the team gold 0.6 point ahead of China.
With three gold and three bronze medals from the day’s three events, the Indian collection reached three gold, four silver and four bronze medals. The air pistol events will be shot over the next two days.