The Indian pair of Shiva Narwal and Esha Singh won gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event at the on-going ISSF World Championship All Events in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday.
The teenage duo beat the Turkish pair of Yusuf Dikec and Sevval Tarhan 16-10. Earlier, the pair had topped the 65-team qualification stage of the Olympic event to earn the right to fight for gold.
The gold medal meant that India were now second on the medal tally behind China with one gold and one bronze in their tally.
Speaking after the match, Narwal said, “I am feeling very good as the experience in Baku has been good with one gold and one bronze medal. After finishing our first qualification relay we were not sure whether we would fight for gold but once we knew that we were in the gold match, we were confident of winning gold. Both of us had practiced together for finals at the Olympic range in Chateauroux, France last month.”
Narwal was also thankful for the support of his brother Manish Narwal, who is also a Shooter and a Paralympic Games gold medallist. Highlighting the influence of his brother as a coach, Narwal said, “He has been the most supportive. I just spoke to him after the final but could not speak much as the network was not good.”
Narwal and Singh shot 583 after 30 shots each in the first qualification relay. It was enough to be the best in both the relays combined as the experienced Turkish pairing of Dikec and Tarhan came second with 581. China won bronze defeating Iran in the bronze medal match after both teams had finished third and fourth in qualification.
In the final, the Indian duo began better than Turkey winning both the first two single-shot series and taking a 4-0 lead in the first-to-16 race. In the third series, all four shooters shot in the 9s as the Turkish pair logged their first two points. A solid 10.6 in the fourth by Dikec saw Turkey draw level at 4-4. It was Tarhan’s turn to shoot a 10.7 in the fifth as Turkey took the lead at 6-4.
Two solid 10s by the Indian teenagers in the sixth and seventh series and two shots in the 9s by the Turkish pair in the eighth, saw Singh and Narwal reclaim the lead at 10-6. Turkey then shot two shots in the 8-ring and two in the 9s as the Indians opened up a six-point gap at 14-8.
Dikec and Tarhan remained in the contest to win the 12th series but in the final 13th series, Singh shot the highest 10.6 with Tarhan shooting the lowest 9.3, as India wrapped the match to become world champions.
Other results of the day
The pair of Mehuli Ghosh and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar in the 10m air rifle mixed team event ended ninth overall with a combined effort of 630.2 in qualification. Divyansh Panwar and Ramita finished 17th with 628.3.
In the women’s skeet event, the Indian team comprising Ganemat Sekhon, Parinaaz Dhaliwal and Darshna Rathore missed out on a bronze, finishing fourth with a combined tally of 351 points.
Dhaliwal was the best Indian finisher in the individual competition with a qualification score of 118 giving her 19th spot, while Sekhon with the same score finished in the 21st spot overall. Rathore shot 115 to finish 38th in the 71-strong field.
In the men’s skeet whose final qualification round and finals are slated for Saturday, Angad Bajwa shot two perfect rounds of 25 to climb up to 25th position with a score of 97. Anant Jeet Singh Naruka was 41st with 96 and Gurjoat Khangura was lying in 78th position with a score of 93.