Shreyasi Singh shot as if in a dream, especially in the climax, to clinch the women’s trap gold with a four-point margin over qualification topper Rajeshwari Kumari in the 63rd National shotgun championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Monday.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist in double trap, the 28-year-old Shreyasi was quite in command as she shot 42 out of 50 in the single-barrel final, getting better in the second half with 22 out of 25.
This was one aspect that had seen Shreyasi lose many finals in the past and she credited coach Daniele Di Spignio of Italy, the former World Champion, for the change of fortunes.
‘’Whether it is single or double barrel, I felt strong in this championship. All credit to the coach’’, said Shreyasi, who had qualified with a modest score of 112, as compared to the National record 118 by Rajeshwari.
‘’It was a tough final and shooters were even losing on the basis of their back number. I myself didn’t have a great number’’, said Shreyasi, who had qualified in the fourth place.
The six shooters are ranked before the final, and the ones with the lower rank get eliminated in case of a tie. However, for the gold, there is a shoot-off in case of a tie, as was the case in the junior final, when Varda Sharma pipped former national champion Manisha Keer 2-1 after the two had tied on 40.
In fact, Pragati Dubey who endured a shoot-off to make the final lost out on a chance for a better medal, after being tied with Rajeshwari on 31.
Shreyasi was a class act in the climax as she shot all the 10, while Rajeshwari who had trailed by a point after 40 shots, lost three of the last 10. In fact, Shreyasi swept all the last 15 birds, after the last three standing were tied on 27.
Soumya Gupta climbed to the fourth spot after making it to the final in the shoot-off past Bhavna Chaudhary.
World Cup silver medallist Seema Tomar (116) and Olympian Shagun Chowdhary (117) had fared well in qualification, but finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Rajeshwari had the consolation of the team gold, and had the privilege of receiving the medals from her dad, Raja Randhir Singh, six-time Olympian and the former secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
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