ISSF WC: Abhishek Verma secures Olympic berth with gold

Abhishek Verma (PTI File Photo)

Abhishek Verma secured India's fifth Olympic quota place in shooting by winning the 10m air pistol gold medal at the ISSF World Cup here Saturday.

Shooting in his maiden International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup final, the Indian led the field throughout the men's 10m air pistol final to clinch the top spot with a total score of 242.7.

Russia's Artem Chernousov took silver with a total of 240.4 points in the eight-man final. Korea's Seungwoo Han finished with a bronze after shooting 220.0 in the final.

Verma showcased his class in what was only his first ISSF World Cup final. Indians have sealed five quota places for the Tokyo Olympics so far with young Saurabh Chaudhary clinching one in 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi earlier this year. With this India have clinched both their quotas in this event.

Incidentally, Verma made his World Cup debut in New Delhi, but failed to qualify for the final at home.

In the Chinese capital on Saturday, Verma shot a total of 585 points to qualify for the final at the fourth spot.

He was the only Indian who progressed to the final with Shahzar Rizvi and Arjun Singh Cheema finishing 32nd and 54th respectively.

Verma, who had won a bronze medal in the 10m air pistol event during his India debut at the Asian Games, does not have much international exposure, making the feat even more creditable.

On Friday, Rajasthan's 17-year-old teenager Divyansh Singh Panwar on Friday secured India's fourth Olympic quota place by winning silver in 10m air rifle event.

This is India's fifth 2020 Tokyo Olympic quota after Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela (10m air rifle women), Saurabh Choudhary (10m Air Pistol men) and Divyansh had secured berths in the earlier World Cups and last year's World Championship.

Saurabh Chaudhary was fielded in the MQS category earlier in the day to boost the chances of another Olympic quota place for India.

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