National Trials: Meghana outclasses Olympian Ayonika

Ayonika falters on the penultimate shot.

Meghana Sajjanar shot 250.1 in the 24-shot final.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

Meghana Sajjanar continued to assert her growing confidence as she beat Olympian Ayonika Paul by 0.2 points for the top slot in women’s air rifle in the National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Tuesday.

Meghana shot 250.1 in the 24-shot final, and pipped Ayonika despite a 9.8 on the last shot. Ayonika was brilliant herself after topping qualification with 419.7.

However, after a string of high 10s, Ayonika spoilt her chances with a 9.7 on the penultimate shot. Thus, a 10.5 on the last shot proved inadequate.

World Cup bronze medallist and Asian champion Pooja Ghatkar got the third place ahead of Anjum Moudgil.

The topper of the third trial on Monday, Apurvi Chandela was sixth behind Rubaiya Takhar after having qualified sixth. New shooters Smita Kamble and Shhailaja Patel made it to the final ahead of World University champion Vinita Bhardwaj, while a string of top shooters like Anjali Bhagwat, Raj Chaudhary, Suma Shirur and Elizabeth Susan Koshy could not reach the top 25.

In men’s rifle prone, Sushil Ghalay topped ahead of Olympians Sanjeev Rajput and Gagan Narang. The other Olympian Chain Singh placed fifth behind Surendra Rathod.

Even though he beat Sanjeev by 0.6 point for the first place, Sushil Ghalay had shown his class during qualification with a total of 627.3 that was 5.1 points better than second-placed Surendra Rathod.

In standard pistol, Samaresh Jung clinched the top slot with 575, a point ahead of Olympian Gurpreet Singh while juniors Anhad Jawanda and Achal Pratap Singh Grewal placed third and fourth respectively after being tied on 572.

Anish Bhanwala, the junior World Champion, settled for sixth place with 570.

The results:

Men: 50m rifle prone: 1. Sushil Ghalay 249.8 (627.3); 2. Sanjeev Rajput 249.2 (619.9); 3. Gagan Narang 227.7 (621.7).

25m standard pistol: 1. Samaresh Jung 575; 2. Gurpreet Singh 574; 3. Anhad Jawanda 572.

Women: 10m air rifle: 1. Meghana Sajjanar 250.1 (416.6); 2. Ayonika Paul 249.9 (419.7); 3. Pooja Ghatkar 229.6 (418.5).