India had a lot to cheer about in the ISSF World Cup at the Karni Singh Ranges in New Delhi, as pistol shooters Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu teamed up to win the ‘gold badge’ on the fifth day on Monday.
The 11 Gurkha Regiment shooter, Jitu Rai, who was the only shooter to clinch gold at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon and has several World Cup medals to his credit, teamed up with Heena Sidhu in the ‘Mixed team Event’ to clinch the ‘badge’ for India.
Mixed Team event is making its debut in the opening World Cup of the season and medals are not being awarded even though the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) executive committee has ratified the recommendations. Once the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gives its approval to the ISSF changes, the event will become ‘official’.
The recommendations to include mixed gender event was given by the Abhinav Bindra-led ISSF Athletes Committee and the world governing body soon ratified the proposal.
Teaming up with Heena Sidhu --- wife of pistol shooter Ronak Pandit, who now doubles up as her coach --- the duo emerged on top and broke a string of disappointing performances by Indian shooters, who have managed just one bronze medal, through Pooja Ghatkar in 10m air rifle.