Vijay Kumar wins gold at National Shooting C’ship

It was the second individual medal for the 30-year-old Vijay Kumar, who had earlier won the air pistol silver behind Shahzar Rizvi. In his main event, the 25-metre rapid fire pistol, in which he has won a string of gold medals over the years, Vijay had failed to make the final.

Vijay Kumar has two silver medals in rapid fire pistol in the World Cups.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar won the centre fire pistol gold with a score of 588 as he pipped Gurpreet Singh by two points in the 59th National shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Sunday.

It was the second individual medal for the 30-year-old Vijay Kumar, who had earlier won the air pistol silver behind Shahzar Rizvi. In his main event, the 25-metre rapid fire pistol, in which he has won a string of gold medals over the years, Vijay had failed to make the final.

Interestingly, it is not a new phenomenon as Vijay has won medals in the Asian Games in centre fire and air pistol events, while he is yet to win a rapid fire individual medal in the Asian Games. He, of course, has two silver medals in rapid fire pistol in the World Cups.

Vijay gave a strong finish by shooting 296 in the rapid fire section of the centre fire pistol event, after having shot 292 in the precision stage.

Gurpreet Singh, the rapid fire specialist who has won an Olympic quota place in air pistol, had shot the gold in the 25-metre standard pistol earlier. He had missed a medal in rapid fire pistol after having fared well in the qualification stage.

Pemba Tamang who had won the rapid fire pistol gold in a dramatic climax after having qualified in the sixth place with a modest 565, beat Harpreet Singh 49-48 in the shoot-off to take the bronze in centre fire pistol after being tied on 582.

Omkar Singh was in the fifth place with 580 while Samaresh Jung rose to the sixth spot with 576 following an impressive 294 in the rapid fire stage. Sudhir Kumar (576), Ronak Pandit (575) and Mahaveer Singh (575) followed them.

In the junior section, Achal Pratap Singh Grewal won his third gold after having clinched the top spot in air pistol and standard pistol. He had also won the bronze in rapid fire pistol.

Meanwhile, Chain Singh and Swapnil Kusale led the field with 1166 points in men’s rifle 3-position event. The 26-year-old Chain, who has won an Olympic quota place in the event, had 393 in kneeling, 397 in prone and 376 in standing positions. The prone gold medallist Swapnil had 388, 394 and 384 in kneeling, prone and standing positions respectively.

Olympian Sanjeev Rajput (1165), Satyendra Singh (1164), N. P. Parida (1162) and Deepak Kumar (1155) were the others in the lead, with more shooters including Gagan Narang scheduled to take aim, before the final on Tuesday.

It was pre-event training in women’s air rifle, as the shooters went through the preparation in right earnest.

Results:

Men: 25m centre fire pistol: 1. Vijay Kumar 588; 2. Gurpreet Singh 586; 3. Pemba Tamang 582 (49); 4. Harpreet Singh 582 (48).

Juniors: 1. Achal Pratap Singh Grewal 562; 2. Shivam Shukla 558; 3. Rushiraj Atul Barot 557.