In a day of mixed fortunes, India picked up four more medals, including one gold, at the end of competition day nine of International Shooting Sport Federation World Championship Rifle/Pistol in Cairo, Egypt. They now have a tally of 30 medals, including 11 gold, seven silver and 12 bronze and still place comfortably behind China in second place in the standings.

Sagar Dangi was the star of the day for India, winning a gold and a silver in both the Junior Men’s 10m Air Pistol team and individual competitions.

A Paris 2024 quota eluded Anjum Moudgil as she finished sixth in the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (3P) Olympic event, but first round performances in Women’s 25m Pistol and Men’s 3P held out hope for more.

The Olympic events

In the Women’s 50m 3-Positions, a below average score in the first kneeling position of the top eight ranking round, where she gave up almost three to four full points to the leaders, put paid to Anjum Moudgil’s hopes of a medal or a quota in the event. She had, in the morning, shot well to qualify for the round in seventh place with a score of 587.

Two other Indians in Women’s 3P, Ashi Chouksey and Sift Kaur Samra finished 33rd and 53rd with scores of 582 and 577 respectively. Miao Wanru of China won gold in the event while Norway bagged two of the remaining three Paris quotas with the USA taking the other.

In the women’s 25m Pistol, India’s Rhythm Sangwan will go into day two of qualification on Saturday in top spot after registering a brilliant 295 in the first duelling round. Manu Bhaker was also in the mix in fifth place in the 89-strong field with a score of 292. In-fact, Abhidnya Ashok Patil with 291 was lying ninth and that makes all three Indians in contention to qualify provided they can have strong rapid-fire rounds on Saturday.

All three Indians in the Men’s 3P also safely negotiated their elimination relays with Swapnil Kusale’s 588 being the best among the three. Olympian Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar shot 585 and Niraj Kumar 581 and all three will line-up in the qualification round on Saturday. This of course, would be another opportunity to win Paris quotas.

The medals came from Sagar Dangi (silver) and Varun Tomar (bronze) in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol Junior, Nancy and SKSR Ravishankar (bronze) in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team Junior and finally gold in the final event of the day from Sagar, Varun and Samrat Rana in the 10m Air Pistol Team Men Junior.

After winning silver and bronze in the individuals, Sagar and Varun teamed up with Samrat Rana in the Team competition to comfortably top qualification stage one with a score of 867 and then the subsequent top eight stage with 577, to make it to the gold medal match against team Uzbekistan comprising Mukhammad Kamalov, Ilkhombek Obidjonov and Veniamin Nikitin.

The Indian trio took a quick 6-0 lead in the final and barring a blip by Varun in the fourth series, by Samrat in the sixth, by the both of them in the eighth and by Sagar himself in the 10th, the Indians proved far too consistent collectively for the Uzbeks to ease to gold with the score line reading 16-8 in their favour.

Double delight for India

Earlier in the individual junior 10m air pistol event, Sagar had gone down 12-16 in yet another India-China gold medal clash, this time to Gao Jinkang in a close duel.

Sagar and Varun made it an India 1-2 in qualifications early in the morning with scores of 588 and 583 from the 60-shot round. They then got off strong in the ranking round with Sagar leading after five shots with Varun lying second, but by the end of the 20th shot, Gao had taken the lead. With Italian Matteo Mastrovalerio having a poor fifth series, Varun managed to secure his bronze and Sagar went into the gold medal match with the Chinese.

In the final race to 16 points and the junior world champion title, Sagar took a 4-2 lead in the early stages of the match, but Gao hit back to open up an 8-4 gap. Sagar then tied it all up again at 10-10 with Gao hitting three consecutive 9s. However, it was 14-10 again in favour of Gao soon and despite Sagar winning one more series, he finished with silver.

Bronze in Junior Air Rifle Mixed Team

Nancy and Sri Karthik Sabari Raj beat Sweden’s Amanda Karlsson and Victor Lindgren 16-8 in the second bronze medal match. Competing in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team Junior event, the duo had finished third in qualification with a combined 629.1 to make it to the second of two bronze medal matches. The second Indian pairing in the event, that of Ramita and Divyansh Singh Panwar, finished outside the top six in 13th spot with an effort of 622.6.