Rhythm Sangwan broke a 29-year-old world record but missed a second medal at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in Baku, Azerbaijan, finishing eighth in the women’s 25m pistol.
Rhythm, who won a first ever individual senior World Cup medal, a bronze, in the women’s 10m air pistol event on Wednesday, shot a stunning 595 to top the 25m pistol qualification early in the day, smashing the 594-point world record created by Diana Iorgova of Bulgaria back in 1994 in Milan. It had been equalled twice thereafter, most recently by Germany’s Doreen Vennekamp at the Bhopal world cup in March this year.
Vennekamp won bronze in Baku while China’s Feng Sixuan picked up a second consecutive World Cup gold in the event with 38-hits in the final to Iranian silver medallist Haniyeh Rostamiyan’s 33. Rhythm was first to be eliminated in the eight-woman final with 10-hits in the first four five-shot series.
The Indian however, broke two world records on Saturday, as she also shattered a 34-year-old junior women’s 25m pistol qualification record. The previous record of 593 was set by Russia’s Nino Salukvadze shot at the European Championship in Zagreb, and was later levelled by Manu Bhaker in 2018 at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
India registered a no-medal day for the first time in the tournament. Rhythm topped qualification with her 595, while teammates Esha Singh and Manu Bhaker shot 582 and 578 respectively to finish in 13th and 27th positions. Abhidnya Ashok Patil, playing for ranking points, registered a score of 576.
Also, in the second final of the day, all three Indian contenders in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) fell short of the top eight mark. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar shot 586 for a 10th place finish while Akhil Sheoran was 13th with 585 and Swapnil Kusale further back in 22nd with a score of 583. Pankaj Mukheja shooting for ranking points only shot 581.
The day also saw the first precision qualification round for the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol where India’s Vijayveer Sidhu shot a solid 293 to be among the top scores currently. Sunday, the final day of competitions, will see the second rapid-fire round of qualifications before the RFP final. The last event of the Baku World Cup on Sunday will be the women’s 50m 3 Positions rifle.