ISSF World Cup: Sangram, Amanpreet grab medals

Sangram Dahiya won India’s second medal of the day, a silver in the men’s double trap shooting at the ISSF World Cup Final, on Friday.

Sangram Dahiya along with champion Hu Binyuan of China and Davide Gaspirini of Italy in New Delhi on Friday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

It took a world record to beat the Indian challenge in double trap as Hu Binyuan of China clinched the gold, beating qualification topper Sangram Dahiya 79-76, in the World Cup Final at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Friday.

On a day when Amanpreet Singh grabbed the bronze, after Jitu Rai had slipped out early in the men’s free pistol final, there was a lot of hope on the three Indians in double trap. In the event, the man in red hot form this season, Ankur Mittal, with a World Championship silver apart from gold and silver in the World Cups, slipped to the fourth place.

The 15-year-old Shapath Bharadwaj, competing in his maiden World Cup Final, in his first year among the men, had failed to capitalise on a promising start, as he missed the final by three points.

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The tall and strongly built Sangram had to rise to the occasion, and he did, much to the delight of the near capacity crowd. It was purely the magical shooting of the Olympic bronze medallist, Hu Binyuan who missed a solitary bird, the 73rd, out of 80 that denied a better medal for Sangram, whose only other international individual medal was the junior gold in 2009 in the Asian championship in Almaty.

Incidentally, it was the maiden gold for the Chinese who had won six silver and a bronze in World Cup Final.

Sangram had dominated the qualification with a career-best 144, following rounds of 29, 28, 28, 30 and 29. Ankur had qualified in the second place with 139, following 26, 27, 28, 29 and 29. Shapath had rounds of 25, 30, 26, 27 and 25 for 133. The World championship silver medallist, Ahvar Rizvi, emphasised the power of the young shooters, like Shapath, as he shot 137 following rounds of 28, 29, 27, 25 and 28 as a ‘zero’ shooter, to complete the second squad.

Amanpreet Singh was a class act in the 50-metre free pistol, as he fought hard after having trailed by 4.5 points to reach the bronze. It was the second medal for Amanpreet following his silver in the World Cup, behind Jitu Rai, in February at the same venue.

After an unimpressive for 545 in the qualification phase, it was a huge high for Amanpreet. In contrast, after an impressive 561, it was an unexpected low for Jitu, who had won the silver in the World Cup Final last year.

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A string of 7s pushed Jitu Rai down to the seventh spot this day, a rare low for someone who has won many World Cup medals apart from the World Championship silver and the Asian Games gold. The three World Cup Final medals, following the gold by Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu in mixed air pistol earlier, was the best haul for India in a season. The previous 11 medals in World Cup Final were won in a span of 15 years, starting with Anjali Bhagwat in 2002.

The results:

Men:

Double trap: 1. Hu Binyuan (Chn) 79 (WR) 137(6); 2. Sangram Dahiya 76 (144); 3. Davide Gasparini (Ita) 56 (137)5; 4. Ankur Mittal 45 (139); 11. Shapath Bharadwaj 133.

50m free pistol: 1. Damir Mikec (Srb) 229.3 (561); 2. Oleh Omelchuk (Ukr) 228.0 (571); 3. Amanpreet Singh 202.2 (545); 7. Jitu Rai 123.2 (561).

50m rifle prone: 1. Torben Grimmel (Den) 250.6 (WR) 628.3; 2. Henri Junghanel (Ger) 250.1 (626.2); 3. Kim Jonghyun (Kor) 228.7 (626.5).

Women:

25m sports pistol: 1. KIm Minjung (Kor) 34(5) 583; 2. Zhang Jingjing (Chn) 34(3) 585; 3. Zorana Arunovic (Srb) 30 (585)