National Shotgun C’ship: Shagun wins women’s trap gold

The 34-year-old clinched the gold by a three point margin ahead of Rajeshwari Kumari and Shreyasi Singh.

Shagun Chowdhary... “This is the first competition for me with the new technique, and I am looking forward to getting better.”   -  Sandeep Saxena

Olympian Shagun Chowdhary pipped Rajeshwari Kumari in the climax to clinch the women’s trap gold in the 61st National Shotgun championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Shagun, who had lost the gold by one bird to Seema Tomar in the last edition in Jaipur, shot well in the single-shot final that featured 50 birds, to clinch the gold by a three-point margin. The qualification topper Shreyasi Singh, who had 72 out of 75, settled for the bronze, ahead of Manisha Keer, Nivetha Nenthirasigamani who eventually clinched the junior gold, and Himangini Rathore.

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Happy to regain the national title that she had first won in 2001, Shagun was prompt in crediting Manav Rachna Academy for the sea change in her approach to the sport, both technically and mentally. The academy had arranged a training stint for Shagun with former World Champion Daniele Di Spigno of Italy.

‘Satisfied’

“I am happy with the way I shot the final. For the moment, I am satisfied with 67 in qualification, as it meets the minimum travel score (MTS). Next year is very important, with the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Championship. This is the first competition for me with the new technique, and I am looking forward to getting better,” said Shagun, who had competed in the London Olympics, and had placed fourth in the World Championship in Lonato.

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Shagun was particularly pleased with the strong platform that paved the way for her return to the national squad, as she has not been part of the team for the last two years. Rajeshwari shot much better than what she had accomplished in qualification, but Shagun proved superior this day with an impressive 41 out of 50.

Gold for Nivetha

Nivetha, who had qualified in the second place by hitting most of the birds with the first barrel, looked to be unnerved by the stage in the women’s final. However, she grouped herself for the junior final later, in which she had to eventually clinch the gold by winning the shoot-off 2-1 against Shefali Rajak after the two were tied on 37.

Soumya Gupta managed to pip Manisha Keer for the bronze, while Sharayu Dalvi and Asila Feroze Khilji could not make a positive impact in the final.

In men’s trap, Manavjit Singh Sandhu retained the lead with a total of 73 out of 75, following a 24 in the third round. He was two points ahead of Fahd Sultan, Zoravar Singh Sandhu and Kynan Chenai. Aman Ali Elahi was undone by a 19 in the third round and slipped dramatically from the lead, but could still stay in the second place among the juniors, two points behind Vishwa Kundu.

The results

 

Women’s trap: 1. Shagun Chowdhary 41 (67); 2. Rajeshwari Kumari 38 (62); 3. Shreyasi Singh 29 (72).

Junior girls: 1. Nivetha Nenthirasigamani 37 (2) 68; 2. Shefali Rajak 37 (1) 58; 3. Soumya Gupta 26 (58).