National shotgun championship: Rashmee Rathore strikes fourth gold

Rashmee Rathore won the skeet gold for the fourth time as she beat the young Ganemat Sekhon 13-11 in the 60th National shotgun championship at the JDA Range, here on Tuesday.

(From left) Saniya Sheikh, champion Rashmee Rathore and silver medallist Ganemat Sekhon.   -  special arrangement

Rashmee Rathore won the skeet gold for the fourth time as she beat the young Ganemat Sekhon 13-11 in the 60th National shotgun championship at the JDA Range, here on Tuesday. It was a commendable performance from the 34-year-old Rashmee as she handled the strong field with poise, topping the qualification with 68 and asserting herself in the semifinal with 14 out of 16.

“I am very happy with my shooting. I have improved a lot with coach Ennio Falco. There is no more nervousness and I am able to shoot calm. I hope to improve the scores soon,” said a delighted Rashmee, who hails from Telangana.

It was a tenth stand standard student of Vivek School in Chandigarh, who was able to go ahead of two multiple national champions Saniya Sheikh and Arti Singh for the silver. “It is all owing to the training with coach Danka Bertekova,” said Ganemat, who captured the junior silver earlier in the afternoon, behind Asees Chhina of Yadavindra Public School, Patiala, who trains with coach Amardeep Singh Rai.

Saniya Sheikh said that she was struggling to find her rhythm, mainly due her temperament, and was confident that she would improve the quality of her shooting with the guidance of coach Ennio Falco. Saniya did very well to assert herself in the bronze match against the young Jasmeen Kaur 15-10, after having missed the gold contest by one point.

Arti Singh, who has been troubled by a leg injury, made the semifinal, but missed the medal matches after being in the lead on shooting 10 out of the first 12 birds. She added only one more in the last station and lost the race for the medal matches along with Asees Chhina, by a solitary point.

“National championship is important and I could not afford to miss it,” said Arti, who has won the title 15 times. The scores from the national championship form the basis for the shooters in their pursuit to make it to the national squad.

The junior bronze was bagged by Simranpreet Kaur Johal, another student of Yadavindra Public School in Patiala, as she beat the experienced Maheshwari Chauhan 15-11. In the women’s double trap, which does not have a final as it is not an Olympic event, Shreyasi Singh won the gold with a score of 98 out of 120, beating the national record of 96 set by Shagun Chowdhary at the Incheon Asian Games.

Shagun herself added the silver to her trap silver, 10 points behind Shreyasi, and three points ahead of the trap gold medallist Seema Tomar. The junior double trap gold went to N. Nivetha, a third-year Engineering student from Coimbatore, who had won the junior trap bronze earlier.

The results:

Women:

Skeet: 1. Rashmee Rathore 13 (14) 68; 2. Ganemat Sekhon 11 (13) 66; 3. Saniya Sheikh 15 (12) 64; 4. Jasmeen Kaur 10 (12) 64.

Team: 1. Punjab 186; 2. Madhya Pradesh 170; 3. Rajasthan 161.

Junior women: 1. Asees Chhina 13 (11) 64; 2. Ganemat Sekhon 12 (10) 66; 3. Simranpreet Kaur Johal 15 (10) 63; 4. Maheshwari Chauhan 11 (9) 63.

Team: 1. Punjab 193; 2. Rajasthan 169; 3. Madhya Pradesh 162.

Double trap: 1. Shreyasi Singh 98 (NR, old 96); 2. Shagun Chowdhary 88; 3. Seema Tomar 85.

Team: 1. Madhya Pradesh 235; 2. Punjab 193; 3. Maharashtra 186.

Junior women: 1. N. Nivetha 76; 2. Bhavna Chaudhary 71; 3. Manisha Keer 71.

Team: 1. Madhya Pradesh 210; 2. Maharashtra 171; 3. Punjab 152.