Bengaluru girl Meghana nails four gold medals

Markswomen hogs limelight at the InterShoot competition

Bengaluru girl Meghana nails four gold medals

Bengaluru shooter Meghana Mallikarjun Sajjanar dazzled with four gold medals at the prestigious InterShoot 2017 competition that concluded in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Saturday.

In the three-day competition which is an important build-up tournament for the season, the 23-year-old won the air rifle event on all the three days besides winning the team gold on day two to emerge the brightest Indian performer on her senior debut.

Meghana had impressed in the trials to earn selection to the Indian team for the first World Cup to be held later this month. In the Netherlands, she recovered from a slow start to dominate the air rifle event featuring 37 shooters from twelve countries.

She was sixth in the qualification round on day one with 412.5 points but bounced back superbly in the final to win the gold ahead of compatriot Shriyanka Sadangi, beating her 251.2 to 248.9.

Meghana again edged Shriyanka in the final on the second day, this time after coming through the qualifying rounds in first position with an excellent 416.4. With Namrata Arora also in good form, India won the team gold ahead of Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The Bengalurean was second in qualifying on the third day behind Shriyanka but prevailed in the final, defeating Nina Christen of Switzerland for the gold. Shriyanka ended fourth.

Mentored by international Rakesh Manpat, Meghana has been training at the Sports Authority of India range in Bengaluru. She recently graduated in computer science from the Jain University. Under the old rules, Meghana had shot a world record equalling 400/400 in the State meet a couple of years ago, after starting out in the sport in 2008.

“We were confident that she would do well. She had trained hard and had done very well at the trials to be selected for the Indian team,” said Manpat, himself a top air rifle shooter. “Earlier she was shooting 50M event too but funding became a problem as she is a civilian shooter. So she focused on air rifle, which is less expensive,” said Manpat.

India won six gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the event, with Vinay Kumar Patil (air rifle, junior) and Pratik Borse (air rifle, men) being the other gold-winners. Mihika Poore (bronze, air rifle women, junior), Borse (bronze, air rifle, men) and Patil (silver, air rifle, junior) were the other medallists.

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