After two disappointing days, India was back on the podium as pistol shooters Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu teamed up to strike gold in the mixed event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi on Monday.

Sidhu and Rai ended a string of poor results by Indian shooters over the weekend, finishing ahead of Japan’s Yukari Konishi and Tomoyuki Matsuda. Slovenia’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon and Kevin Venta finished third. The Indian duo were trailing in the semi-final stage but launched a spirited comeback in the contest to win 5-3.

This is the first time the mixed team event is featured in ISSF World Cup. The event will become official only when the International Olympic Committee gives its approval to the changes brought in by the International Shooting Sport Federation.

After the win, Asian Games silver-medallist Rai admitted that he was still struggling to coordinate with his shooting partner, “I am trying to figure out how it works. We are having a little difficulty right now as far as coordination is concerned but once the rules gets clear it will be better for us,” Rai was quoted as saying by PTI.

Former World No 1 Sidhu believes that the event will eventually become a part of the future of the sport. “It was good, very interesting, opinions are still divided since it is early days. It will take time to settle down. But we will have to start preparing for this in earnest as this, we assume, is going to be part of the Olympics and World Championships,” Sidhu said.