Leading from the start and for nearly the entirety of the women’s 25m air pistol final, 14-year-old Naamya Kapoor added another gold to India’s tally with a superb performance while Manu Bhaker won the bronze in the same event on Monday in Lima, Peru.
Later on, Olympian Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar came up with a sensational performance first to equal the junior world record in qualification and then to break the junior world record in final for an utterly dominant performance to win gold in the men’s junior 50m 3-positions event.
India’s medal tally at the ISSF Shooting Junior World Championships swelled to 17 with these podium finishes.
Kapoor was in fine form from the outset and the led the charts throughout barring one instance during the final. She eventually pipped France’s Camille Jedrzejewski for the gold medal with a final score of 36, three better than her closest rival.
Kapoor hit a perfect series once and recorded six series of four hits in the final.
Bhaker, on the other hand, struggled after a strong start and missed four in the fourth round to fall behind in the race for the medals. She however recovered well to assure herself of a medal by going on a run of 9 hits out of 10. Eventually, she lost out in the bronze medal shoot-off to Jedrzejewski that was only decided in the fourth series after three further ties.
Another Indian shooter, Rhythm Sangwan, finished fourth as the country dominated the finals. Kapoor was sixth in the qualification with a total of 580 as Bhaker (587) and Sangwan (586) grabbed the top two spots.
Delhi’s Kapoor had shot the second best score of 583 in qualification to finish fifth in the national shooting selection trials at the Dr Karni Singh Range in August.
This was Manu Bhaker’s fourth medal in Lima, to go with three gold medals.
For Tomar, it was a day to remember as he first shot a superb 1185 in the qualification, equalling the junior world record for men’s 3P. That score, incidentally, would have been enough to top the standings at Tokyo 2020 where Tomar shot 1167. In the final, after a very close battle in the kneeling and prone stages, Tomar just blew the competition away in the standing stage to turn a 0.1 deficit into finally a 6.9 lead over the silver medallist.
Frenchman Lucas Kryzs won silver with a score of 456.5. Gavin Barnick of the USA won bronze with 446.6.
Only Aishwary made it to the final of this event among the five Indians in the fray.
Among the other Indians in the field, Sanskar Havelia was 11th with 1160, Pankaj Mukheja 15th with 1157, Sartaj Tiwana 16th with 1157 and Gurman Singh finished 22nd with a score of 1153.
Tomar’s gold medal was India’s eighth in Lima.
India lead the medal charts with eight gold medals, six silver and three bronze ahead of USA at the end of their events on Monday. India and USA have sent large contingents to the event, followed by Germany, while China is among the nations absent.
(With PTI inputs)