India’s challenge in the FIH Hockey World Cup may be floundering, but the Indian marksmen are going great guns. Riding on the wave of his success in the Commonwealth Championships, world champion in trap, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, clinched gold in the opening shotgun World Cup in Acapulco, indicating that he is shaping up well for retaining the World Championship title in Munich this year.
Shooting on a hot and windy Mexican afternoon, Manavjit qualified for the finals after shooting 122 with a series of 25, 24, 24, 25 and 24 in the qualifying rounds. He had a point less than qualification round leader Daniele Resca (123) of Italy.
The 34-year-old Sandhu did miss two consecutive birds in the final — 8th and 9th — but held on to smash the remaining 16 targets to grab gold with an aggregate score of 145 (122+23).
“I did not realise I was going to win until the last shots. It was a close competition. I just won by a single target. I shot aggressively until the end and eventually made it to the top.” Sandhu told indianshooting.com.
“It was a long trip to Acapulco from India but it was worth it. I am planning to take part in most of the World Cups this year. I am aiming for the future…and of course the Olympic Games,” he told the shooting website.
Another Indian, Anirudh Singh, impressed by making a surprise entry into his first-ever World Cup final with a score of 122. On Day One of the qualification rounds, he was the leader of the strong field, shooting a perfect 75/75.
In the remaining two rounds on Day Two, Anirudh shot 24 and 23 respectively to qualify for the finals with a score of 122 with three more shooters, including Manavjit.
Anirudh shot bravely in the final round to register a total score of 143, which tied him for the fourth place with Giovanni Pellielo of Italy.
In the shoot-off, he defeated the Beijing Olympic Games silver-medallist.
The silver was won by Daniele Resca of Italy who shot 144+3 (123+21), while John Mullins of the US won bronze with a score of 144+2 (122+22).