National shooting trials: Ravi Kumar trumps Sanjeev Rajput in air rifle

The 26-year-old Kumar topped qualification with a score of 626.4, before beating Sanjeev by 1.6 points for the first place.

Ravi Kumar has made the finals of two shooting World Cups this season.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Ravi Kumar topped a strong field ahead of Olympian Sanjeev Rajput in air rifle in the National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Wednesday.

Keeping in tune with his making the finals of two of the three World Cups this season, the 26-year-old Ravi Kumar topped qualification with a score of 626.4, before beating Sanjeev by 1.6 points for the first place.

Fellow shooter from Indian Air Force (IAF), Deepak Kumar, who had also made the final of the World Cup in Delhi, shot one point less than Ravi in qualification and followed that with the third place. Gagan Narang, who has been regaining his familiar touch with his favourite air rifle, ended seventh after shooting 143.3 in 14 shots of the 24-shot final. He had logged 622.3 in qualification.

Jitu Rai fifth in free pistol

In free pistol, World Championship silver medallist and Asian Games gold medallist Jitu Rai placed fifth after having topped qualification with a commendable score of 567.

Jitu, who had won the free pistol gold and the air pistol bronze this season in the World Cup at home at the same range, will be preparing in right earnest for the World Cup Finals to be staged at the range in October, apart from the Commonwealth Championship to be hosted in Australia.

Young Arjun Singh Cheema topped in free pistol ahead of Olympian Prakash Nanjappa, as he finished comfortably ahead by four points. Omkar Singh got the third place while Tinjit Dhanota of Punjab managed to secure a spot ahead of Jitu Rai. Deepak Sharma, Achal Pratap Singh and Jai Singh finished sixth to eighth (in that order).

In women’s sports pistol, Muskan sprang a surprise in outwitting Sanjana Sehrawat by four points while Olympian Annuraj Singh was third. A string of champion shooters, Pushpanjali Rana, Rahi Sarnobat, Heena Sidhu, Shweta Singh and Anisa Sayyed were fourth to eighth in that order.

The results

Men:

10m air rifle: 1. Ravi Kumar 249.8 (626.4); 2. Sanjeev Rajput 248.2 (622.0); 3. Deepak Kumar 227.9 (625.4).

50m free pistol: 1. Arjun Singh Cheema 234.3 (551); 2. Prakash Nanjappa 230.3(552); 3. Omkar Singh 209.9 (555).

Women:

25m sports pistol: 1. Muskan 37 (574); 2. Sanjana Sehrawat 33 (571); 3. Annuraj Singh 28 (581).