China won both the gold medals on Day 2 of the ISSF World Cup in Bhopal, as India picked up a silver and bronze at the MP Shooting Academy Range on Thursday. Reigning men’s 10m air rifle world champion Rudrankksh Patil and R. Narmada Nithin won bronze in the 10m air rifle mixed team event while Varun Tomar and Rhythm Sangwan won silver to bolster India’s medal haul to one gold, one silver and two bronze medals so far at the tournament.

Meet Rudrankksh Patil, India’s 10m air rifle world champion who loves to research

China on the other hand lead the standings with three gold and two bronze medals, with Azerbaijan, Germany and Hungary winning a silver medal each thus far.

Mixed air rifle

In the day’s first medal event, the 10m air rifle mixed team, the Indian duo of Rudrankksh and Narmada shot a combined 632 in qualification to finish third and thereby qualify for the bronze medal match against China’s Zhang Qiongyue and Yu Haonan, who finished fourth in the 19-strong field with the same combined score. In the bronze medal match however, both Rudrankksh and Narmada were in their element, presenting a solid grouping to beat the Chinese pair 16-8 in what was a much closer match than the score line suggests.

Both the pairs did not shoot a single shot below 10.0. The high-point came in the fifth series when both Rudrankksh and Narmada shot perfect 10.9s.

Speaking after the match Narmada said, “There was pressure obviously, but then we had a really good match. The competition was so good and we quite enjoyed it.”

Rudrankksh said there was no lack of motivation even if they did not win gold. “We were just asked to focus on our process and if we would have got gold we would have been motivated but the bronze motivates us even more to do better next time,” he said.

Both India and China had entered two teams in the mixed team air rifle. While the second Chinese team of Huang Yuting and Sheng Lihao won gold defeating Hungarians Istvan Peni and Denes Eszter 16-2 in a one-sided final, the second Indian duo of Hriday Hazarika and Tilottoma Sen shot 628.1 in qualification to finish ninth.

Varun Tomar wins second medal

In the second medal event of the day, India’s Varun Tomar and Rhythm Sangwan went down 11-17 to China’s Qian Wei and Liu Jinyao in the 10m air pistol mixed team gold medal match. It was Tomar’s second medal of the tournament after his bronze winning effort in the individual air pistol on Wednesday.

In the initial stages of the final, it looked as if the Chinese pair would run away with it, but the Indians made a strong comeback, going from 14-4 to 15-11 before the Chinese clinched the 15th series to seal gold. Earlier in qualification, Qian and Liu had topped the nine-team field with a score of 586, while Varun and Rhythm came second with 581.

Rhythm shared her thoughts after the match saying, “We all try our best and keep our best foot forward and silver is a medal as well. Of course, gold would have been great but we are both happy that we got a silver medal and we will try better next time.”

Varun too was philosophical on missing out on gold saying, “We try our best and try to make ourselves better and we believe whatever happens it is for the best.”

Divya TS and Sarabjot Singh, the second Indian team in fray, missed the bronze medal match by a point, finishing fifth with a score of 574.

Competition Day 3

Two more finals are on schedule for Friday. The men’s 10m air rifle final begins at 11:15 AM, while the women’s air rifle final starts at 1:30 PM.
Shooting, ISSF World Cup in Bhopal: Here’s what you need to know about WC stage being held in India