Mitharwal shoots gold; Sidhu, Bhaker miss final berth

Om Prakash Mitharwal claimed his maiden gold at the ISSF World Championships in the 50m pistol event on Tuesday.

Om Prakash Mitharval, gold medallist in men's free pistol along with silver medallist Damir Mikec of Serbia and Lee Daemyung of Korea in the World Championship in Korea on Tuesday.   -  ISSF

Om Prakash Mitharval won the men’s 50-metre free pistol gold in the 52nd World Shooting Championship in Korea on Tuesday.

In doing so, Om Prakash became only the fourth World Champion in shooting behind Abhinav Bindra, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Tejaswini Sawant.

Like Tejaswini’s gold in women’s rifle prone, a non-Olympic event, free pistol has also been dropped for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. Thus, there was no final, as Om Prakash won with a score of 564.

Jitu Rai, who had won the silver in the same event in 2014, finished 17th with 552.

The gold, the third for India in the current edition of the World Championship, followed the ones by Arjun Singh Cheema and the team in the junior free pistol event.

The juniors continued to strike the medals, as Asian Games gold medallist Saurabh Chaudhary combined with Abhidnya Patil to win the junior air pistol mixed team bronze, behind two Korean teams.

The other Indian team of Devanshi Rana and Anmol Jain also made the final, but ended up fifth. India was third in the medals table behind Korea and China, with three gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

What hurt the Indian camp was the inability of Manu Bhaker and Heena Sidhu to make the women’s air pistol final, in a high scoring competition, in which Olympic champion Anna Korakaki of Greece beat world champion Zorana Arunovic of Serbia for the gold.

Both the shooters won the Olympic quota, along with Kim Bomi of Korea and Jiang Ranxin of China.

Manu shot 574 and missed the final by six points, while Heena had 571.

The third Indian in the fray, Shweta Singh who had won an individual bronze medal in air pistol in the Asian Games in Incheon, could muster 568 for the 45th place in a field of 100 shooters.

In the elimination series in men’s 50-metre rifle prone, Chain Singh (622.5), Gagan Narang (618.3) and Sanjeev Rajput (615.3) made the cut.

In women’s rifle prone event, former World Champion Tejaswini Sawant (618.6), Anjum Moudgil (617.0) and Shreya Saksena (612.5) made the cut for the competition on the morrow.

The results:

Men:

50m free pistol: 1. Om Prakash Mitharval 564; 2. Damir Mikec (Srb) 562; 3. Lee Daemyung (Kor) 560; 17. Jitu Rai 562; 56. Manjit 532.

Team: 1. Korea 1670; 2. Serbia 1667; 3. China 1661; 5. India 1648.

Women:

10m air pistol: 1. Anna Korakaki (Gre) 241.1 (584); 2. Zorana Arunovi (Srb) 239.8 (583); 3. Kim Bomi (Ko) 580; 13. Manu Bhaker 574; 29. Heena Sidhu 571; 45. Shweta Singh 568.

Team: 1. China 1739 WR; 2. Korea 1734; 3. Russia 1720; 4. India 1713.

Juniors:

10m air pistol mixed team: 1. Korea (Choo Gaeun, Sung Yunho) 483.0 WRJ (766); 2. Korea-2 (Yoo Hyunyoung, Lim Hojin) 473.1 (761); 3. India (Abhidnya Patil, Saurabh Chaudhary) 407.3 (761); 5. India-2 (Devanshi Rana, Anmol Jain) 324.9 (765).