Sushil Ghalay retains 50m prone gold

Sushil Ghalay (Army) outgunned Olympians Gagan Narang and Chain Singh to retain the men’s 50m prone gold medal in the 61st National Shooting Championships.

In what was a close final, Ghalay trailed Narang (Air India) through the first two rounds of five shots each before hitting top form and surging ahead in the third.   -  Special Arrangement

Sushil Ghalay (Army) outgunned Olympians Gagan Narang and Chain Singh to retain the men’s 50m prone gold medal in the 61st National Shooting Championships at the National Games shooting range here on Thursday.

In what was a close final, Ghalay trailed Narang (Air India) through the first two rounds of five shots each before hitting top form and surging ahead in the third.

The Army shooter, who was third in the preliminary phase behind Akhil Sheoran (Uttar Pradesh) and his team-mate Chain Singh, stayed at the top after getting to the front and finished the competition with a new National record total of 249.6.The previous benchmark of 246.3 was set by Narang earlier this year in Brisbane.

Narang took silver with a best of 246.6 and Chain Singh was third with 225.4. With Chain Singh and Ghaley returning top scores of 625.1 and 624.6, and Surendra Singh Rathod contributing 617.2, Army Marksmanship Unit had little trouble in getting to the top of the podium in the team event with a total of 1866.9, well clear of Uttar Pradesh (1849.8) and Indian Air Force (1845.6).

In the junior men’s categroy, Niraj Kumar (Punjab) too proved to be in blazing form as he overcame the challenge from existing National record holder Pruthviraj Ayachi (Gujarat) and robbed the latter of his mark with a total of 245.4.

Pruthviraj also bettered his old record of 209.5 in Pune last year, as he took silver with 243.1. Fateh Singh Dhillon (Punjab) ended with bronze with a total of 222.6.

In the qualification round, it was Ron George Valiyaveettil (Kerala) who lead the show with a total of 619.1 ahead of Fateh Singh (618.1), Niraj Kumar (616.3) and Pruthviraj (616.0) but in the final he could only finish fifth with 182.4.

Tamil Nadu, represented by V. Sarvesh Swaroop Shankar, P. Ajaey Nitish and Amar Chakravarthy Kishore, took the team gold in this section with a tally of 1823.8, pushing Kerala (1822.4) and Delhi (1817.7) points to the second and third positions.