Patiala dentist Heena Sidhu outclassed world's top shooters, including London Olympic bronze medallist Olena Kostevych (Ukraine), to clinch the top honours in the World Cup finals in Munich (Germany) on Sunday.
After finishing third in the qualifying round, Heena shot a record-breaking final score of 203.8 points and pocked the gold with ease. She was 5.2 points ahead of her nearest rival, Zorana Arunovic from Serbia, while Bulgaria's Viktoria Chaika finished third.
The world top 10 shooters, including Olympic and world championship medallists, compete in the World Cup finals every year.
Heena, who got married to former international pistol shooter Ronak Pandit early this year, became the first Indian pistol shooter to achieve this feat. Earlier, she also became the first pistol shooter from the country to win a silver medal in the World Cup in 2009 (Beijing) and later on made it to the London Olympics, where she finished 12th.
"It's a great feeling. On earlier two international outings, despite finishing at the top in the qualification, I was eliminated in the final round. So, for quite some time, I was specifically training for it and today it paid off," said Heena, talking to Hindustan Times from Munich.
"By this win at the World Cup finals, she has make up for the loss in the London Olympics," said her proud father, Rajbir Singh Sidhu.
Heena was ranked 11th in the world, but as a shooter in the top-10 ranking decided to skip the event at the last moment, she made it to the World Cup finals. Later, due to a technical issue, Heena didn't get the Schengen visa for Germany.
But luckily, her old Schengen visa was valid till November 9, the date of her competition, thus enabling her to participate.