It was a hat-trick of gold medals for Sandeep Singh of the army as he swept the honours in men’s air rifle in the InterShoot international shooting championship at the Hague in the Netherlands.
Sandeep shot 249.7 in the final, on the third and final day of competition, to beat compatriot and Asian Games silver medallist Deepak Kumar by 1.2 points, after both had shot 627.5 in qualification.
Sandeep had dominated the finals on the earlier two days with scores of 251.5 and 251.7. He was equally consistent in qualification, if not spectacular like the way Mehuli Ghosh did with high scores ranging up to 633.0.
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In women’s air rifle, Mehuli’s superlative show was checked by Mandy Mulder of the Netherlands, as the Dutch won the gold by beating the Commonwealth Games silver medallist by 0.8 point. Mehuli had shot two gold medals on the earlier two days.
World University champion Vinita Bhardwaj wound up her European sojourn with the bronze behind Mehuli, after having competed with a lot of success in Germany.
Olympian Ayonika Paul also made her third successive final, even though she had to bow out in the sixth place.
Overall, the three days of competition in Den Haag proved an encouraging outing for the strong Indian contingent, and would serve as a good preparation for some of the shooters who will be competing in the World Cup in Delhi later in the month.
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