Asian Shotgun Championship: Chauhan bags bronze, team silver

The 21-year-old tops qualification with a score of 68 out of 75 in Astana on Friday.

Maheshwari Chauhan bagged the bronze medal in women’s skeet on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

Maheshwari Chauhan bagged the bronze medal in women’s skeet and led the team to the silver medal along with Rashmmi Rathore and Saniya Sheikh in the Asian Shotgun Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Friday.

The youngest member of the 15-member Indian squad, the 21-year-old Maheshwari topped qualification with a score of 68 out of 75. In the final, she was pushed to the bronze medal by Wei Meng of China who had finished fourth in the Rio Olympics and the Thai, Sutiya Jewchaloemmit, who won two World Cup gold last year and has been three times Asian champion.

The Indian trio got the silver, five points behind China, and five points ahead of Kazakhstan, despite the experienced Saniya shooting a low score of 58 .

As a precocious talent, Saniya had won an individual bronze in the Asian championship in Jaipur in 2008. Of course, Arti Singh Rao has been the most accomplished among Indian women in skeet, as she had won the gold in Asian championship in 2005, apart from two silver and a bronze.

Maheshwari shot a series of 23, 23 and 22 to top the qualifiers with 68. It was her best score in the international arena, in which she has been gaining rich experience through three World Cups last year apart from the junior events. She had also competed in two World Championships.

After qualifying in the sixth place, Rashmmi sustained her good performance to place fourth, in the new format of progressive elimination.

It was a fitting response from the women skeet shooters, who have been sidelined for the World Cups abroad this season, except for Rashmmi shooting in Acapulco. Interestingly, Maheshwari did not make the team of five shooters for the World Cup at home at the start of the season.

In men’s skeet, after the first three rounds, Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Sheeraz Sheikh were on 69 each after a perfect round of 25. Saif Bin Futtais of the UAE was leading with 72, while there four on 71 and

three on 70 ahead of the Indian shooters who had two more for company on 69, in a field of 34.

The young Angad Vir Singh Bajwa was on 64, following rounds of 21, 22 and 21, and placed 23rd before the last two rounds.

The results:

Skeet: 1. Wei Meng (Chn) 55 (67); 2. Sutiya Jewchaloemmit (Tha) 54 (64); 3. Maheshwari Chauhan 40 (68); 4. Rashmmi Rathore 32 (64); 15. Saniya Sheikh 58.

Team: 1. China 195; 2. India 190; 3. Kazakhstan 185.