India finished on top of the medal standings for the second consecutive International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup with three gold and one silver, for a total of four medals in Beijing.
This is third time in two years that they have achieved the feat, after topping the medal tally at the season-opening World Cup in both 2018 and 2019. Additionally, India also bagged two Olympic quota places for Tokyo 2020 at the competition that came to an end on Sunday.
India had topped the medals tally for the first time in an ISSF competition at the Mexico World Cup last year, finishing with four gold, one silver and four bronze medals. At the first World Cup of the season and start of the Olympic qualification cycle in Delhi, India had jointly topped the standings along with Hungary with three gold medals each.
Here’s a look at the Indian medallists in China after the conclusion of the season’s second World Cup.
Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar - 10m air rifle mixed team gold
The newly-formed partnership of Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar opened India’s tally with a gold in 10m air rifle mixed team on Thursday. The event was conducted under the new format with two teams facing off against each other.
In the closely contested final, the Chinese duo of Liu Ruxuan and Yang Haoran took a 13-11 lead before India called for a time out. Moudgil and Panwar came roaring back to level the series 13-13. China, once again, took a lead and India had to come from behind to level it 15-15 before winning 17-15.
Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary - 10m air pistol mixed team gold
Teen stars Bhaker and Chaudhary won their second consecutive gold in 10m air pistol mixed team after topping the podium in Delhi as well.
The duo comprehensively beat yet another Chinese pair consisting of former Olympic Champion Pang Wei and New Delhi 2019 World Cup finalist Jiang Ranxin, 16-6 in the gold medal match. At one stage they were 12-0 up against their opponents before losing out on a few series.
Divyansh Singh Panwar - 10m air rifle silver (OLYMPIC QUOTA PLACE)
A day after winning his first international senior medal in the mixed team event, teenager Divyansh Singh Panwar won silver in the men’s 10m air rifle and earned a Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota place.
The 16-year-old from Jaipur, who has scored over the men’s world record in domestic competition finals in the recent past, shot like a seasoned pro with just one score of 9.5 in 24 shots, with the others not being below 10.1. He was never out of contention in the final, staying in the top three throughout, missing the gold by just 0.4 points after a score of 249.0.
Abhishek Verma - 10m air pistol silver (OLYMPIC QUOTA PLACE)
Verma won India their third gold and clinched the second Olympic quota place in China with a total score of 242.7 in the men’s 10m air pistol final. The 29-year-old, who was competing in only his second ISSF World Cup, led the field throughout the final to win his first international shooting medal.
This was his fourth big final in less than nine months since his India debut at the Asian Games last year, where he won the bronze medal. The 29-year-old hobby shooter had made it to the Indian team just three years after taking up the sport.
As things stand, India have earned five quota places in shooting events at Tokyo 2020 — women’s 10m air rifle (2 spots), men’s 10m air pistol (2 spots), men’s 10m air rifle (1 spot).