National selection trials: Manjeet Singh secures top spot in air rifle

The Army lad defeated Deepak Kumar by 0.8 point.

Manjeet Singh managed a score of 247.6 in the 10m air rifle.   -  S. Mahinsha (Representative Image)

Manjeet Singh beat Deepak Kumar by 0.8 point for the top spot in air rifle in the fourth National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.

Manjeet, an Army lad, shot the second best score in qualification (625.7), behind Ravi Kumar (627.6) who eventually settled for the fourth spot. Manpreet Singh pulled ahead of a string of good shooters like Akhil Sheoran, Gagan Narang and Sanjeev Rajput for the fifth place.

In a strong field of 168 shooters, Olympian Chain Singh shot 620.6 for the 19th spot.

In women’s sports pistol, Heena Sidhu shot a personal best 586 in qualification before finishing third behind the acknowledged and accomplished experts of the event, Anisa Sayyed and Rahi Sarnobat. With the qualification scores counting for much, it was important to put all one’s energy before the final, and that was what the experienced did. Heena had 291 in the precision phase and 295 in the duelling session. Her score was seven points better than the second best, Sanjana Sehrawat.

Pushpanjali Rana, Sanjana Sehrawat, Annuraj Singh, Surabhi Pathak and Devanshi Rana placed fourth to eighth in that order in sports pistol.

Deepak Sharma beats Jitu Rai

In men’s free pistol, World Championship silver medallist Jitu Rai asserted his grip on the event by topping the qualifiers with 562. However, he was beaten by 0.4 point to the top spot in the final by Deepak Sharma, who had shot 13 points less than him in qualification.

Gurpal Singh took the third place. Olympian Prakash Nanjappa was 15th with 540, while Omkar Singh and Amanpreet Singh struggled to 537 for the 20th and 21st spots respectively in a field of 50 shooters.

The results

Men:

10m air rifle: 1. Manjeet Singh 247.6 (625.7); 2. Deepak Kumar 246.8 (625.3); 3. Manpreet Singh 226.6 (622.7).

50m free pistol: 1. Deepak Sharma 232.4 (549) 2. Jitu Rai 232.0 (562); 3. Gurpal Singh 204.5 (546).

Women:

25m sports pistol: 1. Anisa Sayyed 34(3) 574; 2. Rahi Sarnobat 34(2) 574; 3. Heena Sidhu 27 (586).