ISSF World Cup Baku: Swapnil Kusale wins men’s 3 positions silver

This was India’s second medal at the Baku meet, following the gold medal in the 10m air rifle women’s team event.

By Olympics
Picture by National Rifle Association of India

Indian shooter Swapnil Kusale won the silver medal in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) event at the ISSF World Cup 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Swapnil Kusale won his first individual ISSF World Cup stage medal. He went down 10-16 to Rio Olympics silver medallist and Tokyo Olympic finalist Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine in the gold medal match.

This was India’s second medal at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Baku, after the women’s team’s 10m air rifle gold, moving them up to fifth on the medal table from overnight ninth.

Swapnil played a tremendous 3P match over two days of intense competition in a world-class field.

He first finished second to Kulish in the top eight ranking round before going down to the Ukrainian champion again in the gold medal encounter. Kulish shot 411 in the ranking round to Swapnil’s 409.1 as Finland’s Aleksi took bronze with 407.8. The top two, therefore, finished in the same order right from the qualification rounds on Wednesday.

Tokyo Olympian Deepak Kumar and Goldi Gurjar did not go past the qualifier, finishing 23rd and 14th, respectively. Only the top eight moved to the ranking round.

In the final, Swapnil did put up a fight, but the Ukrainian finished strong to put the issue beyond the Indian. Kulish shot four high 10s in his last five shots of the final to Swapnil’s three low 10s and two 9s. He will, however, look to better the colour of his medal with the 3P team events still to come.

The women’s individual and men’s and women’s team 50m rifle 3 positions events will be held on Friday.

Although the ISSF World Cup features rifle, pistol and shotgun events, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has only sent rifle shooters for the event.

India’s campaign at the Baku meet will end on Saturday with the 3P mixed team event.

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