Heena bags gold, Nivetha bronze in Hannover

Heena Sidhu announced her readiness for the next World Cup in Munich with a gold medal in women’s air pistol in the International Shooting Championship in Hannover.

Heena Sidhu (centre) flanked by P. Shri Nivetha and Mathilde Lamolle of France (left).   -  Special Arrangement

Former world record holder Heena Sidhu announced her readiness for the next World Cup in Munich with a gold medal in women’s air pistol in the International Shooting Championship in Hannover, Germany.

Even though she had a modest score of 572 in qualification, Heena shot with a touch of assurance in the final. Despite catching up and progressing ahead briskly after a slow start in the first five shots of the 24-shot final, Heena tied with Mathilde Lamolle of France with 239.8.

In the shoot-off for the gold, Heena shot 9.4 to 8.7 by the French girl. P. Shri Nivetha, who has been shooting well recently, had topped the qualification with an impressive score of 582, but had to settle for the bronze, as she missed a better medal by 0.3 point.

"Technically, I am sound. Just need some tweaking in the mental management for 60 shots," Heena said.

In the World Cup in Munich, Heena will compete in the air pistol and the 25-metre sports pistol events, apart from the mixed air pistol. The 16-year-old Manu Bhaker, who has been sensational this season, winning the World Cup gold among the women and juniors apart from the Commonwealth Games gold, will shoot air pistol in Munich along with Heena and Mahima Turhi Agarwal.

After a string of international competitions, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) had decided to preserve the shooters by opting out of the World Cup, currently in progress in Fort Benning, US. Young shooters like Manu Bhaker were given further training time to get ready for the tough season ahead, with Asian Games and the World Championship as the main focus.

The results:

Women:

10m air pistol: 1. Heena Sihdu 239.8(9.4) 572; 2. Mathilde Lamolle (Fra) 239.8(8.7) 569; 3. P. Shri Nivetha 219.2 (582); 9. Shreya Gawande 566; 12. Lovleen Kaur 562.