Heena stays cool, shoots gold

Edges out Harveen by 0.6 points after both had qualified with an identical score.

Harveen Srao, Heena Sidhu and Rahi Sarnobat at Dr. Karni Singh shooting range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Heena Sidhu overcame the pressure of the selection equations to shoot her way to the No.1 spot in women’s air pistol, with a gutsy fare in the fifth set of selection trials held at the Dr. Karni Singh shooting range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.

With the race hotting up for the Asian Games and the World Championship, the 18th Kumar Surendra Singh championship took the back seat.

Even though she struggled to shoot consistently good scores, Heena shot the best to pip Harveen Srao by 0.6 point, after both had qualified on top with 576.

Heena, who had won the World Cup final gold in 2013 with a world record, did have a 3.4 point lead over Harveen after 20 shots, but the margin shrank dramatically as she grappled with the last four shots.

“It has been a long season already and am happy that Heena has been able to step it up yesterday and today to get back to the top in the averages,’’ reasoned husband and coach Ronak Pandit.

Rahit Sarnobat nosed ahead to the third place, ahead of Abhdnya Patil, who had won the gold on Wednesday ahead of Heena. Manisha Pal was fifth in a field which had only five shooters.

Abhidnya Patil had a pleasant surprise as she managed to take the first position in the juniors, 0.4 point ahead of Anjali Choudhary despite shooting a 9.3 on the last shot. Priya Raghav marched to the third spot ahead of Yogita, in a four member final.

In the youth section, Aarju Vaishnav was a class act as she compiled 241.4 to beat Anjali Choudhary by 3.3 points, while Saumya Dhyani pipped three others to the third place.

In the men’s 50-metre rifle prone event, which has been removed from the Olympics, Akhil Sheoran won the gold by a 0.3 point margin over Arjun Sharma, while Olympian Chain Singh bagged the bronze.

In the women’s rifle prone event, it was Sonika who won the gold ahead of Chahat Deep Kaur and Shreya Saksena.

The results

Men: 50m rifle prone: 1. Akhil Sheoran 620.1; 2. Arun Sharma 619.8; 3. Chain Singh 619.1.

Junior men: 1. Niraj Kumar 618.1; 2. Pruthviraj Ayachi 615.7; 3. Ron George Valiyaveetil 615.4.

Women: 50m rifle prone: 1. Sonika 618.0; 2. Chahat Deep Kaur 617.1; 3. Shreya Saksena 616.8.

Junior women: 1. Bhakti Bhaskar Khamkar 609.4; 2. Ayushi Podder 606.7; 3. Shirin Godara 605.5.

Trial-5: 50m free pistol: Men: 1. Manjit 558; 2. Anmol Jain 557; 3. Jitu Rai 556.

Junior men: 1. Anmol Jain 557; 2. Shaurya Sarin 543; 3. Sagar Singh Bedi 540.

10m air pistol: Women: 1. Heena Sidhu 240.9 (576); 2. Harveen Srao 240.3 (576); 3. Rahi Sarnobat 217.7 (574).

Junior women: 1. Abhidnya Patil 237.8 (573); 2. Anjali Choudhary 237.4 (568); 3. Priya Raghav 210.9 (567).

Youth women: 1. Aarju Vaishnav 241.4 (565); 2. Anjali Choudhary 238.1 (568); 3. Saumya Dhyani 216.4 (565).