Anjum Moudgil made a telling statement as the World Championship silver medallist qualified in the second place in women’s air rifle with a score of 629.6 on the opening day of the shooting World Cup at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Friday.
Often identified as a 50-metre rifle 3-position specialist, who also shoots 10-metre air rifle, the 27-year-old Anjum could have finished with a 630 plus score but for a 10.1 last shot.
She had a series of 105.6, 104.6, 104.3, 105.8, 103.8 and 105.5 which revealed the depth of her energy, both physical and mental. Eszter Denes of Hungary topped with 629.8.
While two Indian men, Arjun Babuta (631.8) and Divyansh Singh Panwar (629.1) qualified for the final, there was none to accompany Anjum in the women’s final scheduled for Saturday.
World No.1 Elavenil Valarivan shot 626.7 for the 12th spot, while Apurvi Chandela, who had won the gold in two World Cups in 2019, including the one in Delhi, mustered 622.8 for the 26th spot among 48 shooters.
In fact, competing in the MQS section, Nisha Kanwar had 629.4, while Shriyanka Sadangi had 626.4. Those scores will count in the ensuing team championship along with that of Apurvi, as the three form Indian team.
The 22-year-old Arjun Babuta did better than the two Olympic quota winners Divyansh Singh Panwar and Deepak Kumar.
While the 18-year-old, World No.1 Divyansh has the final to show his mastery of the rifle Deepak, the Asian Games silver medallist, missed the final by 1.2 point with a total of 626.4.
The depth of Indian shooting was very much evident, with Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar shooting 632.4 in the MQS section. His score was better than that of the topper in the regular field, 632.1 by Nam Taeyun of Korea.
Aishwary, an Olympic quota winner in rifle 3-position event, along with Pankaj Kumar (627.1) and Deepak Kumar had helped the Indian team top the team race while reaching the second stage.
The partial disappointment of below par scores by Apurvi and Elavenil apart, it was a satisfactory opening for the Indian camp which is attempting to sustain its fine run of having topped the medals table in the last four World Cups and the World Cup Final, in rifle and pistol events.
It should be a cracker of a competition on Saturday, as there will be four finals, including the men’s and women’s air pistol.
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