Anjum Moudgil suffered the familiar woe of yip before surviving by the skin of her teeth to claim gold as Indian shooters continued to rule the Kahilipara range at the 12th South Asian Games here on Saturday.
Having lost out on gold a few times in her young and promising career after misfiring in the final few shots, the Chandigarh shooter vanquished her healthy lead with a disastrous final attempt of 8.0 in the 50M rifle 3-position but luckily for her, compatriot Elizabeth Susan Koshy couldn’t capitalise on the mistake, managing just a 9.3.
Watching the display screen with bated breath, the 22-year-old Anjum beamed upon realising she had bagged her maiden international gold medal in this discipline with a total of 425.2 while Elizabeth settled for silver, just 0.2 points behind. Lajja Goswami took bronze as India swept the podium after having won the team gold as well. The hosts’ shooters, for the second day in succession, took home all the gold medals that were contended for. Omkar Singh triumphed in the 10M air pistol where compatriot Jitendra Vibhute settled for bronze with India winning the team title as well.
In the women’s 25M pistol final, Rahi Sarnobat defeated compatriot Annuraj Singh 8-2 and Anisa Sayyed crushed Pakistani Nasreen Farhat by the same margin as Indians occupied all three positions on the podium and claimed the team gold too. Moment Lajja, Anjum and Susan qualified for the final, it was always going to be a battle between the three shooters and it was no different when the trio took aim. Individual silver medal winners at this Games, Lajja and Elizabeth set the early pace but Anjum shot ahead after the opening kneeling position as a riveting contest ensued.
Elizabeth then put herself in pole position after the opening series of shots in the prone section and stayed ahead of the chasing pack with some scorching firing, including a maximum 10.9 once. The shooters then changed guard to standing and the see-sawing battle saw Anjum take charge.
Apart from one poor round, Anjum kept getting scoring above 10s and those efforts allowed her to take a healthy 1.6 point lead heading into the final shot. The gold in her grasp almost slipped though as Anjum succumbed to the familiar nerves. However, she was able to sport a smile as Elizabeth couldn’t find the required mark. “I was very nervous but I’m very happy now,” a delighted Anjum said. “So many gold have gone out of my hand, thanks to my poor finishing. When I shot 8.0 today, I thought another gold too has slipped. I was just praying, Elizabeth doesn’t shoot a 10. Thankfully, she didn’t!”
Results: Men: 10M air pistol, individual: Omkar Singh (Ind) 198.8, 1; Kaleem Ullah (Pak) 198.1, 2; Jitendra Vibhute (Ind) 175.1, 3. Team: India (Omkar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Jitendra Vibhute) 1735-55x, 1; Pakistan (1700-44x) 2; Sri Lanka (1663-35x) 3.
Women: 50M rifle 3-position, individual: Anjum Moudgil (Ind) 452.2, 1; Elizabeth Susan Koshy (Ind) 451.9, 2; Lajja Gauswami (Ind) 429.9, 3. Team: India (Anjum Moudgil, Elizabeth Susan Koshy, Lajja Gauswami) 1726-69x, 1; Sri Lanka (1686-50x) 2; Pakistan (1656-51x) 3.
25M pistol, individual: Gold medal match: Rahi Sarnobat (Ind) bt Annuraj Singh (Ind) 8-2; Bronze medal match: Anisa Sayyed (Ind) bt Nasreen Farhat (Pak) 8-2. Team championship: India (Rahi Sarnobat, Anisa Sayyed, Annuraj Singh) 1741-52x, 1; Sri Lanka (1654-26x) 2; Pakistan (1631-21x) 3.