ISSF World Cup: India sweep team pistol golds, Ganemat Sekhon makes history

Ganemat Sekhon’s bronze was India’s first ISSF World Cup medal in women’s skeet. Men’s and women’s pistol teams won golds. India lead medals tally with nine.

By Rahul Venkat

Indian shooters continued to make merry in the 10m Air Pistol events as both the men’s and women’s teams won golds at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi on Sunday.

The 10m Air Pistol men’s Indian team, comprising Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma and Shahzar Rizvi beat Vietnam 17-11 in the final to take the gold at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

This was the second medal in as many days for Asian Games gold-medallist Saurabh Chaudhary – who won silver in the individual event on Saturday – and Abhishek Verma – who took bronze in the individual event.

Both Indian shooters have won quota places for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

India and Vietnam – who were represented by Nguyen Dinh Thanh, Tran Quoc Cuong and Phan Xuan Chuyen – were the only two participants in the men’s pistol team event.

Meanwhile, the in-form Indian women’s 10m Air Pistol team – Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Nivetha Paramanantham – got the better of Poland 16-8 to win gold.

Yashaswini had beaten Commonwealth Games champion Manu Bhaker to the individual gold on Saturday, while Nivetha Paramanantham had finished fourth.

Poland was the only other nation to have three shooters – Julia Borek, Joanna Iwona Wawrzonowska and Agnieszka Korejwo - in the women’s pistol, making them the only other team participant.

Rifle men’s team end with silver

India’s first medal on Sunday came courtesy the men’s 10m Air Rifle team – Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Deepak Kumar and Pankaj Kumar – who won silver.

The Indian men’s rifle team narrowly lost 14-16 to the USA in the final.

The Indian team had topped the qualification rounds with a cumulative score of 1885.9 ahead of USA’s 1880.8.

However, the USA team, consisting of Lucas Kozeniesky – who won gold in the individual event on Saturday – William Shaner and Timothy Sherry won the last three rounds in the final to claim gold.

The 10m rifle women’s Indian team, which had former world No. 1 and Olympian Apurvi Chandela, Nisha Kanwar and Shriyanka Sadangi, made it to the final but could only finish fourth, missing out on the bronze to Poland.

Meanwhile, Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar teamed up to qualify for the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team final, which will be held on Monday.

Ganemat Sekhon creates history

Ganemat Sekhon won India’s first-ever ISSF World Cup medal in the women’s skeet event. She bagged a bronze.

The 20-year-old Sekhon began slowly in the first two 10-shot rounds but shot a near-perfect 19 in the following two rounds to put herself in medal contention. However, the young Indian shooter had to settle for bronze after missing four shots in the fifth round to finish with 40 out of 50.

Teenager Karttiki Singh Shaktawat finished fourth in the women’s skeet. She led the field after 20 shots but fell out post the 40-shot mark.

Rio 2016 Olympian Amber Hill of Great Britain beat Kazakhstan’s Zoya Kravchenko in a shoot-off to win the women’s skeet gold.

The lone Indian in the men’s skeet final Gurjoat Khangura finished in sixth place. Tokyo Olympics quota holders Angad Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan were unable to make the final.

India’s medal tally at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi now stands at nine -- three each of gold, silver and bronze.