With a last-gasp effort, Anjum Moudgil (Punjab) retained the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions title – the first individual gold medal to be decided at the 62nd National Shooting Championships at the Vattiyoorkavu shooting range here on Sunday.

The 24-year-old was involved in a pitched battle for supremacy with Tejaswini R. Sawant (Maharashtra) before she came through all guns blazing with a winning score in the final and 45th shot of the tense competition.

In April this year, Tejaswini was winner of the gold medal for the country at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with a Games Record score, leaving Anjum in the second place. And as the competition went through round after round through its three stages – kneeling, prone
and standing, the 28-year-old Kolhapur shooter seemed to be in fine fettle getting to the top of the eight-shooter final field and staying there right until the end.

The Maharashtra shooter enjoyed a good three-point lead over her younger rival from Punjab at the start of the elimination but seemed to lose her midas touch into the final stages, allowing Anjum to catch up. Yet, Tejaswini went into the final shot with a lead of 0.4 points but was unable to manage only 9.5 whereas Anjum came up with a superb shot 0f 10.6 and thereby squeezed her way to the top and all the glory.

In the end, Anjum had a score of 458.6 points, while, Tejaswini finished with 457.7. Sunidhi Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh) was third with 443.0.

A beaming Anjum commenting on the well-fought said, “Tejaswini really shot well through all the rounds, but I was not going to give up, as I badly needed this gold medal.”