National Shotgun C'ship: Seema Tomar grabs gold

On a day when the junior women’s final became anticlimactic as three of the six in the semifinals were disqualified, owing to their ammunition not meeting the specifications, the women’s fight went to the wire in the picturesque arena.

Photo of women's trap in National shotgun championship in Jaipur onSunday. From left, Shagun Chowdhary, Seema Tomar and Manisha Keer.   -  Special Arrangement

Seema Tomar asserted her class despite not being at her best as she clinched the women’s trap gold ahead of Olympian Shagun Chowdhary in the 60th National Shotgun championship at the JDA Range here on Sunday.

On a day when the junior women’s final became anticlimactic as three of the six in the semifinals were disqualified, owing to their ammunition not meeting the specifications, the women’s fight went to the wire in the picturesque arena.

Seema, who had recently won the Asian Shotgun silver in Abu Dhabi, following a qualification Asian record of 74 out of 75, was below par with a 62 in qualification following a series of 20, 22 and 20.

However, at the crunch, Seema was close to her fighting best as she shot the last five birds in the gold contest, while Shagun, who had topped qualification with 66, missed the last two after being ahead.

‘’My health is not good at the moment. It was not my best performance, but I was sure of fighting it out till the last bird’’, said Seema, after beating Shagun 11-10 for the gold.

The two had shot 11 in the semifinals to qualify for the gold contest, while Manisha Keer and Pragati Dubey shot 10 each to make the bronze match, ahead of Shreyasi Singh (65) and defending champion Anam Basit (63) who shot nine.

For Shagun, who did not make the national team recently, it was welcome return to the top even though the gold had slipped away from her sure grip.

‘’I was stressed and had problem with the visibility’’, said Anam Basit, who recalled that she had shot freely in clinching the gold last year at the same venue.

It was a jolt for Madhya Pradesh, a strong squad trained by Olympian Mansher Singh, not only because Anam Basit failed to progress to the medal rounds, but also because the juniors Manisha Keer and Pragati Dubey were disqualified for ammunition that did not meet the stringent standards.

Interestingly, in the subsequent women’s final Manisha Keer and Pragati Dubey used different ammunition and went on to fight for the bronze medal.

With the field narrowing to three from six for the semifinals in the junior section, before a shot was fired, the trio was assured of the medals straightaway. N. Nivetha missed the first bird after being tied on 9 with Sajneet Kaur in the semifinals, and ended up defending her bronze medal from the last edition.

Soumya Gupta, a student of Sri Venkateshwara College in Delhi was delighted to clinch the gold as she beat Sajneet Kaur 11-10, after having topped the semifinals with 10.

The results:

Women’s trap: 1. Seema Tomar 11 (11) 62; 2. Shagun Chowdhary 10 (11) 66; 3. Manisha Keer 8 (10) 62; 4. Pragati Dubey 6 (10) 62. Tam: 1. Madhya Pradesh 187; 2. Army Marksmanship Unit 180; 3. Punjab 167.

Junior women: 1. Soumya Gupta 11 (10) 61; 2. Sajneet Kaur Rehal 10 (9)1 59; 3. N. Nivetha 9(0) 56.