Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu win medals at Asian Championships
Pistol aces Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu bagged a bronze each to continue India’s medal charge at the 10th Asian Championship 10m Rifle/Pistol in Wako City, Japan today.
Jitu won an individual bronze in the men’s 10m Air Pistol, which also helped the Indian team comprising Shahzar Rizvi and Omkar Singh besides Jitu, to bag the Team gold in the event.
Heena claimed an individual bronze in the women’s 10m Air Pistol. Her effort, along with teammates Shri Nivetha Paramantham and Harveen Srao, helped the Team clinch a silver.
India added another individual bronze through Anmol Jain in the junior men’s 10M Air Pistol as well as the Team silver in the event, thanks to the combined exploits of Anmol, Gaurav Rana and Abhishek Arya.
Having won 11 medals on the first two days of the competition, India’s medal count stands at four gold, six silver and seven bronze for a total of 17 medals so far.
In the men’s 10m Air Pistol, it was Shahzar Rizvi who topped qualification with a score of 583. He along with Jitu,, who shot 577 to finish fifth in qualifying, made it two Indians in the eight-man final.
The experienced Omkar Singh missed out, shooting 575 to finish 10th but enough to secure the Team gold for the troika with a combined score of 1735, full six points ahead of second placed China and seven ahead of third placed Vietnam.
In the 24-shot final, Jitu narrowly pipped Shahzar to claim bronze with a score of 219.6. Shahzar was more than a point ahead of Jitu till the 18th shot, but two scores of 10.9 and 10.6 by Jitu in the 19th and 20th shot meant Shahzar was fourth with a total of 199.6, just 0.3 behind Jitu at that stage.
Zhengyang He of China won the gold, equalling the world record in the event with a winning score of 241.8, while compatriot Wei Yang won silver with 241.1.
In the women’s 10m Air Pistol, Heena was the only Indian to make the final. Her 380 placed her fifth among top eight qualifying finalists. Shri Nivetha shot 377 to end in 11th position while Harveen shot 375 to finish 15th.
The trio won the Team silver with a combined effort of 1132. China won gold with 1137 and Chinese Taipei won bronze with 1126.
Yukari Konishi of Japan won the individual gold in the event with an Asian record score of 245.3, while veteran Mongolian Otryad Gundegmaa bagged silver with 241.6.
Heena began well in the final but a 7.8 in the 11th shot meant she had to be satisfied with an individual bronze with a final score of 217.2.
In the junior men’s 10m Air Pistol, Anmol Jain, who topped qualification with 577 out of 600, Gaurav Rana, fourth with 569 and Abhishek Arya, eighth with 557, made it to the finals. This ensured the Team silver with a total of 1703.
China won gold with 1716 and Chinese Taipei settled for the bronze with 1648.
In the final, it was Gaurav who was fastest of the blocks, but the two Chinese -- Jiayu Wu and Sihao Tang -- shot consistently to claim yet another Chinese 1-2 with Wu winning gold with 241.1 and Tang, the silver with 237.9.
Anmol, who began fourth, was briefly in second after the 18th shot but lost out to Sihao Tang at the end of the 20th, to settle for bronze, finishing with 217.8.
Tomorrow will be the final day of the competition, with three finals -- women’s junior 10m Air Pistol and 10m Air Pistol Youth for men and women.