Shriyanka Sadangi clinched the gold in the 13th RR Lakshya Cup air rifle shooting competition with a 16-12 victory over Yukthi Rajendra at the Kamala Sports Academy in Panvel on Sunday.
In winning the gold, the 27-year-old Shriyanka, who had won a mixed bronze medal in the Cairo World Cup this year, became only the second woman champion of the gender-neutral Lakshya Cup.
Interestingly, Shriyanka had finished runner-up to Meghana Sajjanar in 2016, the previous woman champion, and had always wanted to get her hand on the champion’s trophy.
In a tough competition, in which the reigning World Champion Rudrankksh Patil (628.2) failed to make the medal stage, Shriyanka was consistently brilliant in pocketing the winner’s purse of Rs.1,50,000.
Shriyanka topped qualification with 631.4, with the second-best Samiksha Dhingra managing 629.3. In the elimination round, Shriyanka topped with 261.2, while Yukthi kept pace with her to reach the gold medal match, a mere 0.3 points behind.
In the gold contest, Shriyanka was leading 12-6 before the 18-year-old Yukthi pressed hard with a string of good shots including a 10.9 to bridge the gap to 12-14. However, Shriyanka sealed the gold with a 10.3 as Yukthi shot 10.0.
“I have had a good year and this was the cherry on the cake”, said Shriyanka, all praise for Dronacharya Suma Shirur, the president of Lakshya Club for the meticulous conduct of the championship and best guidance over the years.
Vidit Jain bagged the bronze ahead of Sandeep, Harshit Bingwa, Samiksha, Vinita Bharadwaj and of course Rudrankksh.
The runner-up and third-placed shooters collected Rs.75,000 and Rs.40,000, respectively.
Arya Borse won the junior gold, as she defended her title won last year, by outclassing Parth Mane 17-4. Ashi Chouksey won the bronze ahead of Sachin, who had topped qualification with 628.5.
The junior champion was presented Rs.75,000 while the runner-up and third placed were given Rs.40,000 and Rs.20,000, respectively.
There were special prizes of Rs.25,000 for the highest inner tens (Parth Mane, 57); highest series (Sachin & Vinita Bhardwaj 106.4); highest 10.9s (Kiran Jadhav & Vamshi Eligeti 5).
Paralympic gold medallist Avani Lekhara was the chief guest.
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