Arjun Singh Cheema and World Junior Championship-winning Sidhu twins--Udhayveer and Vijayveer-- shared the spoils in men’s air pistol in the Khelo India Youth Games at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi on Monday.
World junior champion in free pistol and bronze medallist in air pistol, the 17-year-old Arjun, a student of Om Prakash Bansal Modern School in Mandi Gobindgram, asserted his class, first by topping qualification with 583 points and later by pipping Vijayveer Sidhu in a gripping contest by 0.3 point for the gold.
‘’Am happy with the scores. I hope this gold will help me take my shooting career forward with the best support’’, said Arjun.
The beauty of the climax was that despite firing at his best with 10.5 and 10.7 on the last two shots, Chandigarh lad Vijayveer fell short of Punjab’s Arjun who had a string of 9s in the end. Actually, a solid start in the final in the first 12 shots, out of 24, pulled Arjun through.
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However, there was no denying the gold for Vijayveer’s twin brother Udhayveer in the under-17 final, as he romped home with a solid performance on the last 10 shots, to beat another Punjab boy Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu by 3.3 points.
Interestingly, Udhayveer Sidhu is the world junior champion in sports pistol, while Vijayveer is the world junior champion in standard pistol.
The brothers showed that they can be on top in the 10-metre air pistol as well, even though their qualification score was modest.
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It was some sight, as Udhayveer Sidhu and Arjun Singh Cheema, the two gold medallists of the day, heartily congratulated each other. Quite notably there was only a 0.1 point difference between the two champion’s effort in winning their gold.
The absence of Asian Games gold medallist Saurabh Chaudhary did rob the event of some charm. But coming close on the heels of the absence of Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala who had won the Commonwealth Games gold, it was understandable that some of the best shooters were focused on preparing for the World Cup in Delhi next month, to win the Olympic quota places.