National Shooting c’ships: Punjab wins mixed-pair title

The pair of Arjun Babuta and Anjum Moudgil compiled 497.6 points to trump Rajasthan.

The mixed-pair gold was the third for Punjab’s Anjum Moudgil. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

The pair of Arjun Babuta and Anjum Moudgil (Punjab) put up a consistent show to bag the mixed-pairs title in the 61st National shooting championships held at the National Games shooting range here on Friday.

The category witnessed quite an interest as 20 teams battled it out in the preliminaries from which five were selected for the final shootout. It was conducted for the first time in the championships and is to be introduced as a medal discipline in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Karnataka, represented by Tejas Krishna Prasad and Meghana M. Sajjanar, was considerably better than the others in this round; it qualified first with a score of 835.1 points and was followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in that order.

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Despite bringing up the rear in the qualifiers, the Punjab duo proved to be in great form in the final even as the Karnataka pair cracked under pressure. It was the first to be eliminated with a tally of 346.0 after the fourth round of the sequence of seven. Next to depart was Akhil Sheoran and Aayushi Gupta with 392.2.

Pooja shoots 9.9

The Maharashtra pair of Shahu Mane and Pooja Ghatkar, and the Rajasthan combine of Yash Vardhan and Apurvi Chandela, were close to each other but behind Punjab through all these rounds. They switched themselves to the second and third position alternatively before the bronze medal winner was finalised. However, in the crucial sixth round, a less-than-average score of 9.9 in the second shot by Pooja gave enough leeway to Rajasthan to push Maharashtra to the third spot with 433.9.

Babuta and Moudgil were into the lead straightaway and remained on top through the six rounds. They were not to be stopped by the Rajasthan pair as they completed the competition with 497.6, a 1.5 point lead over Vardhan and Chandela, to top the show.

This was the third gold for Moudgil as she had earlier won the women’s 50m rifle individual and team gold medals.

The Rajasthan pair which finished second was credited with a score of 496.4.

Maharashtra tops youth contest

In the youth section, Maharashtra (Shahu Mane/Nupur Patil) stood first with a brilliant score of 499.6 ahead of Himachal Pradesh (Surya Pratap Singh/Zeena Khitta, 496.7) and Bengal (Archisman Chakraborty/Mehuli Ghosh, 430.9). This was after Rajasthan had toppled Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh in the team event. However, in the final, the Rajasthan pair of Dikshant Gupta and Manini Kaushik were able to finish only fourth.

Shahu Mane picked up another gold medal as he in partnership with Prachi Gadkari helped Maharashtra to top the junior section with a tally of 493.9 points. Gujarat (Gohil Harshrajsinhji/Elavenil Valarivan) took the silver with 490.6 and Rajasthan (Divyansh Panwar/Vanshika Rathore) the bronze with 429.4. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan had finished in that order in the team event.