National Shooting C'ships: Rahi Sarnobat wins with ease

Rahi Sarnobat upstaged Manu Bhaker and Heena Sidhu, who finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the women's 25m sports pistol.

File photo: Rahi Sarnobat finished with a score of 36.   -  PTI

Rahi Sarnobat, the first ever Indian woman to win a gold medal in the Asian Games, proved her class as she collared the 25m sports pistol title in the 62nd National shooting championships at
the Vattiyoorkavu National Games ranges on Sunday.

The Pune-based 28-year-old, having struggled through the qualifiers finishing only fifth and with the final field including the likes of the experienced Heena Sidhu (ONGC) and the new pin-up girl of India shooting, Manu Bhaker (Haryana), it was expected to be anybody’s game.

However, Rahi’s showing in the 10-round final of 50 shots was a class act as she came up with a commendable show marked with poise and consistency. Having started with an identical three each in the first two rounds, the Maharashtra shooter raced ahead of the field with four hits out of five through the next six rounds and proved that she was one to beat.

Heena and Manu wilted under pressure to finish seventh and fifth even as Rahi finished with a score of 36, six points clear of Pushpanjali Rana (CRPF) who finished second. Chinki Yadav (MP) was third with 20 points.

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An elated Rahi shared her happiness of winning, “The qualification had been tough for me, but this was one that I was never going to give up that easily. Everything went well for me in the final and I am happy that I lived up to the expectations and saved my reputation.”

Manu overcame her miserable showing in the senior event, with a top podium finish in the junior section. The Haryana girl with a card of 24 points finished ahead of Devashi Rana (ONGC) and Neha (Uttarkhand), the eventual silver and bronze-medallists.

In the men’s section, Ravi Kumar (Air Force), who had helped himself to a bronze medal in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, retained the men’s 10m air rifle title edging out Sandeep Singh (Army Marksman Unit) in a close finish.

Ravi Kumar totalled 250.2 points through the final series while Sandeep came just 0.6 points behind. Keval Jashvantbhai Prajapati (Gujarat), the winner of the gold medal in the youth section, was third at 229.1.

The corresponding event in the juniors section was won by Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar (Rajasthan) ahead of team-mate Yash Vardhan and Keval, which again proved to be a touch and go affair.

The results

Men

10m air rifle: 1. Ravi Kumar (AF), 627.4 (250.2), 2. Sandeep Singh (AMU), 624.7 (249.6), 3. Keval Jashvantbhai Prajapati (Guj), 628.3 (229.1)

Team: 1. Air Force 1875.9, 2. Army Marksman Unit 1866.3, 3. Rajasthan 1846.6

Juniors

10m air rifle: 1. Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar (Raj), 624.0, (249.8), 2.Yash Vardhan (Raj), 623.8 (249.5), 3. Keval Jashvantbhai Prajapati (Guj), 628.3 (227.3)

Team: 1. Madhya Pradesh 1864.9, 2. Rajasthan 1864.6, 3. Punjab 1855.5

Youth

10m air rifle: 1. Keval Jashvantbhai Prajapati (Guj), 628.3 (251.0), 2. Yash Vardhan (Raj), 623.8, (250.1), 3. Divyansh Singh Panwar (Mah) 622.3 (228.7)

Team: 1. Madhya Pradesh 1864.9, 2. Rajasthan 1864.6, 3. Tamil Nadu 1854.1

Women

25m sports pistol: 1. Rahi Sarnobat (Mah), 576 (36), 2. Pushpanjali Rana (CRPF), 577 (30), 3. Chinki Yadav (MP), 576 (20)

Team: 1. Maharashtra 1722, 2. Haryana 1712, 3. ONGC, 1708

Juniors

25m sports pistol: 1. Manu Bhaker (Har), 581, (24), 2. Devashi Rana (ONGC), 565 (18), 3. Neha (Utd), 565 (16)

Team: 1. Haryana 1700, 2. Maharashtra 1667, 3. Uttar Pradesh 1663