Elizabeth Koshy wins gold in women's rifle 3-position

Elizabeth enhanced the lead in the climax in the standing position, to eventually triumph with a 4.5 point margin over Tejaswini Sawant.

Elizabeth Susan Koshy (centre), Tejaswini Sawant (left) and KC Hema after winning the gold, silver and bronze in the women's rifle 3-position.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

It was like old times for Elizabeth Susan Koshy. The 25-year-old Kerala girl gained plenty of confidence by winning the women’s rifle 3-position gold, in a top class field, in the 12th Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Masters shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Wednesday.

With the final staged at the final hall, instead of the 50-metre range, the atmosphere added to the aspirations of Elizabeth who remembered that she had won the gold in 2017.

"Honestly I was not thinking about winning. In the last year and a half I have been struggling with my shooting. Coach Stanislav Lapidus was the backbone to my shooting. After he left Indian shooting, I lacked the guidance. Of course, I have worked with many other coaches.
I was not getting the feel in my shooting. However, I told myself that it would not be an excuse," said Elizabeth, after receiving a congratulatory hug and peck from her doting mother, Sosa.

After qualifying in the sixth place, with a modest score of 1161, Elizabeth was in a different zone in the final. She was in the third place after 15 shots in kneeling with 152.1, on par with Olympian Anjali Bhagwat, and 1.6 point behind leader Lajja Gauswami, who has a World Cup silver to her credit.

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After 15 more shots in prone, Elizabeth was firmly in the lead ahead of former World Champion Tejaswini Sawant, Anjum Moudgil and Lajja. Quite admirably, Elizabeth enhanced the lead in the climax in the standing position, to eventually triumph with a 4.5 point margin over Tejaswini, while KC Hema sneaked to the bronze, after having qualified in the eighth place.

"Hard work has paid. I guess, I still have the national record in final. Today, I did not have the feel, but forgot about everything else and focused on my technique. The shots went very well. I think, God was pulling the trigger," said Elizabeth with a smile.

Two of the shooters in the current national team, Sunidhi Chauhan and Kajal Saini placed eighth and seventh respectively. Anjali ended up sixth, while Anjum and Lajja took the fourth and fifth spots. After 47.0 in the first series of standing, Anjum had lost the race for gold, and Hema overtook her to the medal by 0.6 point.

In the mixed air pistol, Olympian Annu Raj Singh and Deepak Sharma rode on a brilliant start when they led 8-0 and 14-2 before cruising to a 17-5 victory over Shweta Singh and Amanpreet Singh of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

It was Shweta and Amanrpeet who led in the two phases of qualification, but in the gold medal match, they fell short in decimal scoring.

The results

Men

25m standard pistol: 1. Gurpreet Singh 577; 2. Vijayveer Sidhu 576; 3. Adarsh Singh 574.

Juniors: 1. Vijayveer Sidhu 576; 2. Adarsh Singh 574; 3. Anish Bhanwala 573.

50m rifle prone: 1. Tarun Yadav 622.6; 2. Sanjeev Rajput 619.6; 3. Sateyndra Singh 618.2.

Juniors: 1. Abid Ali Khan 620.5; 2. Gohil Harsharjsinhji 617.4; 3. Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar 614.7.

Women

50m rifle 3-position: 1. Elizabeth Susan Koshy 460.1 (1161); 2.
Tejaswini Sawant 455.6 (1161); 3. KC Hema 444.5 (1158).

Juniors: 1. Ayushi Podder 444.9 (1147); 2. Prasiddhi 444.4 (1148); 3. Shirin Godara 432.3 (1135).

Mixed air pistol: 1. Air India (Annu Raj Singh, Deepak Sharma) 17 (385, 572); 2. ONGC (Shweta Singh, Amanpreet Singh) 5 (386, 580); 3. Railways (Ruchita Vinerkar, Hemendra Singh) 17 (384, 568); 4. SSB (Yogita, Parveen Kumar) 5 (383, 560).