Heena-Jitu win mixed gold

Shooting World Cup : Mittal shoots down sparkling silver in men's double trap event

Heena-Jitu win mixed gold

On an eventful day for India, Ankur Mittal clinched a silver medal in men’s double trap after the pairing of Heena Sidhu and Jitu Rai had got the gold medal in the 10M air pistol mixed event in the World Cup at the Dr Karni Singh Range on Monday.

Though the gold  won’t be counted in the medal tally — the mixed events are still on trial — it lifted the spirits of the home crowd, with the Indian national anthem being played out for the first time in the competition.

India’s Tejaswini Sawant made the final of the women’s 50M rifle 3-positions event, finishing seventh with 402.4 points. The gold was won by China’s Zhang Yiwen (455.7), with Singapore’s Jasmine Xiang Wei Ser (453.8) and Germany’s Eva Roesken (443.6) taking the silver and bronze.

However, it was Mittal who grabbed the spotlight after putting up a gritty display in an exhaustive 80-shot final to grab his maiden World Cup medal. He scored 74, losing out to Australian James Willett (75) by one point. Britain’s James Dedman finished third with 56 hits.

Mittal’s consistency in the final, where he missed six shots in total, stood in stark contrast to the way he began his qualification rounds. He had begun by missing six shots in the first round itself before rallying to finish fourth with 137 points.

Against a quality field in the final, Mittal missed only one bird in the first 34 shots. He, however, missed a double to slip down the ranks but fought back with perfect scores in the fifth and the sixth series to be tied at 57 with Willett ahead of the gold contest of last 20 birds. The 25-year-old Indian, however, missed three birds in a row at the start and though Willet himself missed a couple, he held on just enough for the gold. “I was an Asian championship winner (gold in 2014, bronze in 2016) but to win my first World Cup medal is special,” Mittal said.

With double trap proposed to be left out of the Olympics, Mittal said: “It’s sad but it’s still there in all other events.”

Sangram Dahiya (137) too made the six-men final in double trap with a third place in qualifiers. He, however, finished sixth in the final with 24 points.

Earlier, the 10M air pistol mixed doubles event was delayed by over an hour due to a power cut. Heena and Jitu combined well to pip Japanese pair of Yukari Konishi and Tomoyuki Matsuda 5-3.

Results: Men: Double Trap: James Willett (Aus, 75) 1; Ankur Mittal (Ind, 74) 2; James Dedman (Eng, 56) 3.

Women: 50M Rifle 3-Position: Zhang Yiwen (Chn, 455.7) 1; Jasmine Xiang Wei Ser (Sing, 453.8) 2; Eva Roesken (Ger, 443.6).

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