Shooting Nationals: Apurvi ends season in style

In a thrilling final, it was Anjum Moudgil who led throughout before she stumbled with shots of 9.6 and 9.9 that left her clutching the bronze medal. Apurvi had a 0.4 point lead over Geetakshi before the last two shots.

Apurvi Chandela had a 0.4 point lead over Geetakshi before the last two shots.   -  Sandeep Saxena

World Cup Final silver medallist Apurvi Chandela capped off the season nicely by winning the women’s gold in air rifle in the 59th National shooting championship that concluded at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Tuesday.

In a field with a lot of youngsters, Asian champion Pooja Ghatkar went without a medal while World Cup medallist Ayonika Paul failed to make the final.

In a thrilling final, it was Anjum Moudgil who led throughout before she stumbled with shots of 9.6 and 9.9 that left her clutching the bronze medal. Apurvi had a 0.4 point lead over Geetakshi before the last two shots.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist who had also secured an Olympic quota place, the 22-year-old Apurvi responded with shots of 10.0 and 10.6, while Geetakshi delivered the first shot that was not a 10 in the final. Incidentally, Geetakshi also won the junior gold, ahead of Prachi Gadkari.

“I was nervous initially, but I settled to shoot a good final. I am very happy with the medal, as I did not expect anything,” said Geetakshi who shot 9.6 and 10.4 on the last two shots. Apurvi also had only one 9 in the final, a 9.8 that was the third shot of the 20-shot final.

“I am happy that I caught up. Am happy that young shooters are doing so good,” said Apurvi.

Vinita Bhardwaj, Pooja Ghatkar, Gurjeet Kaur and Raj Chaudhary placed fourth to seventh respectively. Aditi Shukla of Gujarat, who had shot 414.4 in qualification, failed to report for the final, and was automatically placed eighth.

In men’s rifle 3-position event, Chain Singh, who has won an Olympic quota place in the event, pipped Gagan Narang by 1.6 point for the gold. Swapnil Kusale came up with a creditable bronze ahead of Deepak Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, Imran Hasan Khan, Satyendra Singh and N. P. Parida.

Olympic and World Championship medallist, Gagan was pleased with his tally of two silver medals and a bronze, after having failed to win a medal in the last edition in Pune.

In the junior men’s sports pistol, Achal Pratap Singh Grewal dominated by beating Gurmeet Singh by nine points with a total of 580. It was the fourth gold for the 20-year-old Business Administration student of Punjabi University, Patiala.

Aadeithya Johal pipped some of the prominent shooters like Samarjit Singh, Arjun Das, Shvam Shukla for the bronze.

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief guest. He impressed everyone with shots of 10.5 and 10.6 with the air rifle, when he took aim only twice for what were supposed to be token shots, before awarding the medals at the presentation function.

Man Singh leads the National shotgun championship

Former Asian champion Man Singh led with a perfect score of 100 after four rounds in men’s skeet in the 59th National shotgun championship on Tuesday.

Olympic quota winner Mairaj Ahamd Khan was on 97, following rounds of 22, 25, 25, 25. The junior event leaders, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa (95) and Anantjeet Singh Naruka (95) followed the two leading shooters, along with Mohd. Sheeraz Sheikh (93), Karam Sukhbir Singh (92) and Mohd. Hamza Sheikh (92).

The last round of the qualification event will be followed by the knock-out phase on Wednesday.

The results:-

Men: 50m rifle 3-position: 1. Chain Singh 452.8 (1166); 2. Gagan Narang 451.1 (1170); 3. Swapnil Kusale 441.7 (1166).

Junior men: 25m sports pistol: 1. Achal Pratap Singh Grewal 580; 2. Gurmeet Singh 571; 3. Aadeithya Johal 568.

Women: 10m air rifle: 1. Apurvi Chandela 207.8 (417.0); 2. Geetakshi Dixit 206.8 (414.4); 3. Anjum Moudgil 185.7 (415.6).

Juniors: 1. Geetakshi Dixit 414.4; 2. Prachi Pramod Gadkari 413.8; 3. Nupur Hagawane Patil 413.5.

Youth: 1. Nupur Hagawane Patil 413.5; 2. Ayushi Podder 410.4; 3. Manini Kaushik 410.4.