Divya Thadigol Subbaraju and Sarabjot Singh, emerged third-time lucky as a pair, winning gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event at the on-going ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Shooting on the second day of the competition, the Indian pair, who had finished fifth in two earlier World Cups in Cairo and Bhopal respectively, broke through with a fine 581 to top the 55-team qualification, thereby assuring them of a medal and a spot in the gold medal match.

Playing for the gold, against Serbian legends Damir Mikec and Zorana Arunovic, the Indians held their own to pull off a nerve-wracking 16-14 win. It was a second ISSF World Cup gold for Sarabjot in back-to-back ISSF World Cups, having won the individual air pistol event in Bhopal in March, while for Divya it was a first senior ISSF World Cup medal. Ismail Keles and Simal Yilmaz of Turkey won bronze.

The other Indian team competing, Esha Singh and Varun Tomar, finished sixth in the qualification round, with a combined total of 578.

In the gold medal match, the Indians began the final strong with two identical 10.5s in the first series of single shots to take a 2-0 lead. However, as the match progressed, two series ended in ties, but both teams remained in touching distance to the point that the scores were 14-14 at the end of the 14th series.

In the deciding series, Sarabjot came up with the goods to fire a 10.6 while Divya backed him up with a 9.9. However, even though Damir shot a 10.3, Zorana faltered with an 8.6 as the Indians pulled off the win.

China win gold and silver in mixed rifle

It was all China in the first medal event of the day, the 10m air rifle mixed team. Huang Yuting and Sheng Lihao defeated compatriots Wang Zhilin and Yang Haoran 16-14 in the gold medal match. Czech Republic won bronze as both Indian pairs in the event could not make it to the medal rounds.

While Tilottama Sen and Hriday Hazarika shot a combined 627.6 for a 17th place finish, Ramita and Rudrankksh Patil were further down in 28th having shot a score of 626.3.

India overall second

India is currently are placed second in the medal tally with one gold and one bronze medal as China move to the top with one gold and one silver to their name so far. There are six more gold medals to be decided over the next three days of competition.

On the opening day, Rhythm Sangwan won bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol event.