Olympics shooting trials: Sift, Niraj top 50m 3P trials - Hindustan Times

Olympics shooting trials: Sift, Niraj top 50m 3P trials

Apr 24, 2024 09:35 PM IST

In the women’s final, Sift overcame Ashi’s challenge while Niraj edged out Paris quota holder Swapnil in men at the Karni Singh ranges

Asian Games champion Sift Kaur Samra and an in-form Niraj Kumar won the first leg of the Olympic Selection Trials in 50m 3 Position (3P) event at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here on Wednesday.

Sift came to the fore in the final thanks to a brilliant prone round, taking the lead. (PTI)
Sift came to the fore in the final thanks to a brilliant prone round, taking the lead. (PTI)

Placed second after the qualification round (583) behind Ashi Chouksey (590) – shooters start afresh in the final -- Sift came to the fore in the final thanks to a brilliant prone round, taking the lead. The shooters compete in kneeling, prone and standing, in that order.

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It wasn't a cakewalk as Ashi continued her brilliant form from qualification, taking the lead after the kneeling round that comprised 15 shots. Sift, who trailed Ashi by 1.1 points at that stage, recovered in style and held a 2.4-point advantage after the prone series.

Sift carried the momentum to the standing segment, and though Ashi shot 10s regularly, Sift's lead and relentlessness ensured she never ceded the top spot. In the end, her cumulative score of 466.3 points was a healthy 3.7 points above Ashi’s tally (462.6). Tokyo Olympian Anjum Moudgil was third (449.2). Nischal (433.6) and Paris quota holder Shriyanka Sadangi (416.7) finished fourth and fifth.

“It’s a great result. The key to success in 3P events at the international level is to be consistently good in all three positions, which is what I strive for,” Sift said.

“I was seven points behind Ashi coming into the final but I was always focussed on my shooting. In the intervening night, I thought about the mistakes I made in the qualification and sought not to repeat them,” the reigning Asian Championships silver medallist added.

In men, overnight leader and quota holder Swapnil Kusale finished second (460.9), behind Niraj who shot 462.2. Kusale led after the kneeling round but the experienced Chain Singh aced the prone sequence to take the overall lead. Singh, however, slipped in the standing stage while Kusale, Niraj and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar began their recovery. In fact, all shooters except Niraj had an ordinary first series that placed the 24-year-old on top, an advantage he never relinquished.

A 9.7 and 9.9 threatened to push him down as Kusale responded with 10 and 10.7 in the corresponding series, but Niraj managed to hold on. Tomar was third (450.5) with Singh (439.8) and quota holder Akhil Sheoran (429.1) behind.

The qualification rounds of the 10m air rifle and pistol events were also held on Wednesday. Sandeep Singh with a sizzling 634.4 and Tilottama Sen with 632.4 finish on top in the men’s and women’s 10m rifle event respectively.

In 10m air pistol, Paris quota holder Varun Tomar (583) topped the men's charts followed by Arjun Singh (580) and Naveen (575).

Rhythm Sangwan (578) aced the women's field, ahead of Esha Singh (577) and Palak Gulia (572). Manu Bhaker (572), who won the first trials in 25m pistol earlier in the week was next, followed by Surbhi Rao (570).

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