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Mehuli Ghosh admits premature celebration cost her gold medal in Commonwealth Games

In the shootout between Martina Lindsay Veloso and Mehuli Ghosh for the gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle event of the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG), the Singapore girl shot 10.3 while the Indian lost out, scoring only 9.9.

other sports Updated: Apr 09, 2018 15:51 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant
Hindustan Times, Gold Coast
2018 Commonwealth Games,CWG 2018,Mehuli Ghosh
Mehuli Ghosh takes aim during the women's 10m air rifle shooting final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Monday. (AFP)

Mehuli Ghosh made a grand comeback to get into medal contention in the final round, having qualified as the fifth best shooter in the women’s 10 metre air rifle event of the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG 2018) in Gold Coast on Monday. With the 20th shot of the final, she overtook teammate Apurvi Chandela, who had set a new CWG record of 423.2 in the qualifying round. (CWG live updates)

When it came to the crunch,Mehuli shot a perfect 10.9 in the last shot and thought she had won gold medal -- she clenched her fist, turned around, smiled at the cheering crowd, disarmed her gun and left her position, only to realize that she had not overtaken Singapore’s Martina Lindsay Veloso, but tied the score with her at 247.2.

In the shootout between Veloso and Mehuli, the Singapore girl shot 10.3 while Mehuli could only get a 9.9, and lost out on gold.

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Mehuli agreed the moment of premature celebration, a result of the exuberance of youth perhaps, broke her concentration.

“I should not have left my position. I actually thought I had won the gold medal and lost my concentration. I should not have done that,” Mehuli said.

“I am happy but not satisfied with my performance. I did not do well in qualifying too. But this is my first medal in Commonwealth Games, so I am happy. But it could easily have been gold if I had not left my position,” said Mehuli.

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Mehuli finished with silver medal while Apurvi had to be satisfied with bronze. “I too could have done better in the final. But a medal is a medal, so I am happy for India,” said Apurvi, who had won gold in this event in Glasgow.

Though she missed the gold medal, Mebuli’s performance was proof enough of the bright future India has in 10m air rifle. She had recently won a bronze in the ISSF World Cup in Mexico.

Mehuli was very steady in the final, and, all but four of her shots were in the range of 10 or more than ten. With this performance, she would have won gold in any other competition, but the Singapore girl, another 18-year-old, was slightly better than the two Indians on this day when the final went down to the wire.

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“I want to concentrate now on the upcoming World Cup in Korea and then the next one. We take short break after the Commonwealth Games and will get ready for the event in Korea,” said Mehuli.

She will earn the quota place for the Asian Games later this year while the Olympics remains a dream. If Mehuli keeps her cool and works hard, she definitely has the potential to reach the grand stage.

Both Mehuli and Apurvi admitted that their rivalry is helping both of them improve.. “Its definitely a good thing for both of as it challenges to do better than the other. Today I had the better of her, and on the next event, she may want to do better than me,” Apurvi sad.

First Published: Apr 09, 2018 15:46 IST