Mehuli Ghosh continued to assert her class and courage as she fought back from the brink of elimination in qualification to strike her second successive gold in women’s air rifle in the InterShoot international shooting championship at the Hague.
After the high of shooting 633.0 in the first match, the 18-year-old Mehuli had to grapple with an equipment malfunction that resulted in a poor shot, to fight her way with the last score of 621.8 in the eight-member final.
Mehuli had a series of 104.0, 99.5, 106.2, 104.5, 105.0 and 102.6, quite below par by her high standards. However, in the final, she was her normal self shooting 248.7 to win the gold 0.7 point ahead of Gao Mingwei of China who had shot 631.0 in qualification.
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Vinita Bhardwaj also extended her fine run to take the bronze, after an impressive qualification score of 630.0. Qualification topper Zhang Binbin (632.0) finished fourth. Olympian Ayonika Paul made the final but finished seventh.
The Indian shooters continued to excel as former national champion Dharmendra Singh won the men’s air pistol gold, while Jitu Rai took the bronze. The other leading shooters Shahzar Rizvi and Om Prakash Mitharval also had it good as they made the final.
Sandeep Singh won the men’s air rifle, ahead of two Chinese. Deepak Kumar finished fourth after shooting 628.4 in qualification, as he missed progress towards the medals by 0.9 point.
Akshat Seth won the gold, ahead of qualification toppers from Norway, in junior air rifle, after qualifying with a modest 613.8.
Heena Sidhu won the women’s air pistol silver behind Afaf Elhodhod of Egypt, while qualification topper Zhang Mengxue (584) of China was pushed to the third place.
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