2018 Commonwealth Games: Anish Bhanwala, Tejaswini Sawant win shooting gold

Anish Bhanwala won gold in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol final event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. Earlier, Tejaswini Sawant and Anjum Moudgil won the gold and silver medal respectively, in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions final.

other sports Updated: Apr 13, 2018 18:38 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant
Hindustan Times, Gold Coast
Tejaswini Sawant,2018 Commonwealth Games,50m rifle 3 positions
Anish Bhanwala won gold in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol final event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. (Twitter)

As he got ready for the fourth series of five shots in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol final, India’s 15-year-old Anish Bhanwala was distracted by the camera that was moving on a rail four metres in front of the shooting stations and lost his focus. The result was that he could manage to hit only one target and this disaster came after he had scored three in the previous round. His lead was further reduced. (CWG updates)

Going into the final round, Anish’s lead was further trimmed to one hit and he needed another perfect five to seal the gold medal.

In rapid fire pistol competition, shooters take turns to fire at five targets within a specified time period. The shooter with maximum hits is declared winner.

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Anish, who had qualified in first position with a score of 580 and 22 central bulls, had started with a good lead as he shot perfect fives in each of the first two series. But that one blip, in which he scored just one, threatened to ruin his perfect day as he went into the final series of five shots with his lead down to just one point after local hope Sergei Evglevski had shot 5, 4, and 4 in his last three attempts.

But when it came to the crunch, Anish, who is the world junior champion in 25m standard pistol, responded with a perfect five hit to extend his lead to six hits even before Evglevsi could take his final five shots. The Aussie managed four hits and Anish emerged 30-28 winner to become India’s youngest Commonwealth Games gold medallist, breaking the record set by 16-year-old Manu Baker a few days ago.

England’s Sam Gowin, who took up the sport just a year ago, survived two shoot-offs, firstly eliminating India’s Neeraj Kumar, who had qualified in the second position but could not maintain the momentum, and then reigning champion and Australian David Chapaman to make the top three.

Having claimed the biggest medal of his life, Anish was ecstatic but also worried about the Class X exams he has to take soon after reaching India on Sunday. “I have to write my exams in hindi, social science and maths. I will think of my next competition, the World Cup in South Korea, after that,” said Anish.

READ | 2018 Commonwealth Games: Silver gives wings to Tejaswini Sawant’s shooting career

Tejaswini on top once again

It was a great day for India and Tejaswini Sawant at the Belmount Shooting Complex in Brisbane as the 35-year-old from Kolhapur won a gold medal again in the Commonwealth Games after a gap of 12 years. Tejaswini won gold while Anjum Moudgil won silver medal, completing another 1-2 for India in shooting.

Tejaswini, who had won gold medals in 10m air rifle and 10m air rifle pairs events in 2006 in Melbourne, found the Australian weather to her liking as she bagged the yellow metal in women’s 50m three-position, with a Games Record total, to add to the silver she had won in 50m prone event on Thursday. That took her medal haul from CWG to seven as she had won two silver medals and a bronze in the 2010 edition in New Delhi.

Tejaswini had qualified in the third position, with 582 and 31 perfect 10s, behind Anjum (589) and Singapore’s 18-year-old Martina Lindsay Veloso (584). In he final, Tejaswini was more consistent than the two youngsters and shot in the fifties regularly as she bagged gold. She shot 10.1, 10.0,10.0, 10.0 and 10.5 in her last five shots for a total of 457.9, which is a Games Record, while Anjum could manage 10.2, 9.7, 10.2, 10.4 and 9.1, for a total of 455.7. Veloso, winner in 10m air rifle and 10m air rifle prone, faded away to fourth position as Scotland’s Seonaid McIntosh took bronze.

The day, that started with a bang for India, ended in disappointment as Shreyasi Singh finished fifth in the women’s trap final. Shreyasi, who won the double trap gold a couple of days ago, had qualified in fourth position. Compatriot Seema Tomar was placed 11th in the qualifying round.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 08:10 IST