India added four more golds to their kitty on Saturday at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation Junior World Championship in Lima, Peru. After her individual title, Manu Bhaker won her second and third gold medals of the tournament. In partnership with Sarabjot Singh in the 10m air pistol mixed team event and then alongside youngsters Rhythm Sangwan and Shikha Narwal in the air pistol women’s team event, the 19-year-old Olympian had a day to remember.
The troika of Srikanth Dhanush, Rajpreet Singh and Paarth Makhija picked up the 10m air rifle men’s Team title. In the last event of the day, Sarabjot clinched his second gold medal as he joined with Naveen and Shiva Narwal to bag the title in air pistol men’s team event.
In the process, India swept the 10m air pistol team events, winning the mixed, women’s and men’s competitions.
India are currently leading the medal tally in the event in Lima with six gold, six silver and two bronze medals for a total of 14 medals.
Manu and Sarabjot led an India 1-2 in the air pistol mixed team competition where they fought off the challenge of the second Indian pair of Shikha Narwal and Naveen 16-12 in the gold medal match.
Earlier in the qualification round featuring eight teams, both the Indian pairs finished 1-2 as well with Manu and Sarabjot shooting 386 while Shikha and Naveen were a point behind with 385.
In the junior men’s 10m air rifle team event, the trio of Srikanth, Rajpreet and Paarth had made it to the gold medal match by virtue of topping their six-team qualification round with a combined total of 1886.9. Each shooter shot 60-shots each in the qualification round.
In the final, they beat a strong US team comprising reigning Olympic champion William Shaner, besides Rylan Kissel and John Blanton by a margin of 16-6.
India also picked up two silver medals on the day. First the pair of Rajpreet Singh and Atmika Gupta went down fighting to USA’s William Shaner and Mary Carolyn Tucker (both medallists at the Tokyo Games) in the 10m air rifle mixed team competition by a margin of 15-17. It was a thrilling performance in a high quality final.
Rajpreet and Atmika had finished second behind US pair in qualification as well with a combined 418.5 after 20-shots each. The US pair shot 419.9 to top the eight-team field.
In air rifle junior women’s team final, it was another silver medal for India. Atmika Gupta, Zeena Khitta and Nisha Kanwar lost a thrilling final against Hungary. The Indians trailed 10-14, fought back to 14-14 and missed gold by 0.1 in the final series.
In air pistol junior women’s team final, Bhaker shouldered the responsibility of carrying the team through in a low-scoring affair. Sangwan too came up with some crucial shots while Narwal had a tough time before finally shooting a gold clinching 10.8 against a young Belarus team. The Indians won this match 16-12.
In the final event of the day in the 10m range, Sarabjot Singh, Naveen & Shiva Narwal survived a stunning late fightback from Belarus to just about hang on and clinch gold with a 16-14 win. The Indians led 14-6 at one point but saw their lead closed down. In the final series, with one shot left for Belarus, it seemed the gold had slipped away but a stray 8.9 helped the Indians’ cause.
Competitions continue till October 9.