Olympian Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar extended India’s domination in the shooting World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, by winning the 50-metre rifle 3-position gold on Wednesday.
It was the fourth gold for India in the World Cup, following the men’s air rifle gold by Rundrankksh Patil, apart from the two mixed air pistol and mixed air rifle gold medals.
In the gold medal match, Aishwary beat Alexander Schmirl of Austria 16-6, after the latter had topped the second stage with 407.9. Aishwary himself had narrowly made the gold medal match, by placing 0.3 point higher than Andreas Thum of Austria.
It was the third World Cup gold for the 22-year-old Aishwary, who had won one each in the last two years, in Delhi and Changwon, Korea.
“I had not performed well twice earlier at this range. So I was determined to back with a medal”, said Aishwary.
Aishwary (588) and Akhil Sheoran (587) had placed on top in qualification, but the latter finished seventh in the ranking round.
Olympic quota winner Swapnil Kusale was not at his best and placed 35th with 580.
In men’s 25-metre rapid fire pistol event, Anish Bhanwala shot 294 out of 300 in the first stage, the third best score behind Cho Yeongjae (296) of Korea and Florian Peter (295) of Germany.
The second stage followed by the medal round will be staged on Thursday.
Rhythm finishes outside podium
In the day’s first medal event, India’s Rhythm Sangwan, who had qualified for the ranking rounds after shooting 589 in the women’s 25m pistol, could not make the final four medal round.
She had shot 295 to lead the first precision round on Tuesday and then 294 in the rapid-fire round to qualify second behind Doreen Vennekamp of Germany.
Rhythm bowed out in the second ranking round match, finishing fourth with nine hits out of 20. Hungary’s Veronika Major won gold in the event.
Manu Bhaker and Esha Singh shot 571 and 570 to finish 32nd and 34th respectively.
India was on top of medals table with four gold and two bronze, followed by Hungary with two gold and a silver.
50-metre rifle 3-position: 1. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar 16 (406.4) 588; 2. Alexander Schmirl (Aut) 6 (407.9) 587; 3. Andreas Thum (Aut) 406.1 (586); 4. Jiri Privratsky (Cze) 405.1 (586); 7. Akhil Sheoran 304.3 (587); 35. Swapnil Kusale 580; RPO: Pankaj Mukheja 581; Harshit Binjwa 577.
(With inputs from PTI)