India continued their fine run at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro as they bagged two mixed team gold medals in the 10m air rifle and 10m air pistol events on Monday to finish comfortably atop the medals tally.
On the final day of the Rio ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol 2019, India swept both the mixed team events to end the competition with five gold medals and match the tally of the previous Munich leg. India’s final tally from Rio stood at five gold, two silver and two bronze medals for a total of nine. No other country won more than one gold medal.
Apurvi Chandela and Deepak Kumar finished with gold while Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Panwar clinched the bronze in the air rifle event. Moudgil and Panwar beat Hungarian duo of Eszter Meszaros and Sidi Peter to ensure a podium finish.
India were then assured the air pistol gold even before the final, as both Indian pairs made it to the summit clash. In the final, the pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary prevailed over Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Abhishek Verma 17-15 in a nerve-wracking contest.
The finals format has each of the two-team members shooting a single shot and the team with the winning total is given two points. The first to 16-points wins and one point is given for a tie.
Manu and Saurabh, who have now won each of the four ISSF mixed team air pistol world cup gold medals this year, were at various stages of the final down 3-9, then 7-13 and then finally 9-15 before winning the next four duels straight to stage a remarkable come-from-behind win.
The winning pair had earlier shot 394 out of 400 in round two of qualification, including a stunning 100 each in the final 10-shot series, to top the eight team round while Yashaswini and Abhishek, both fresh from their individual gold medal winning exploits in the competition earlier, came in second with 386.
The Hungarian and the China 1 team were left fighting for the bronze, which was won by the pair of Pang Wei and Jiang Riaxin of China.
In the 10m air rifle mixed team final, Chandela and Kumar dominated from the start and beat China’s Quian Yang and Yu Hoanan by 16-6.
World number one in women’s 10m air rifle Chandela, partnered Kumar to win India their fourth gold medal ensuring an unprecedented top finish for India across all four ISSF world cup stages this year including the junior world cup.
Moudgil and Panwar representing India 2, who won the previous two world cup editions of the same event, provided the icing on the cake with a bronze.
Chandela and Kumar blew away the Chinese pair of Yang Qian and Yu Haonan in an one-sided final. India won eight of the 11 single-shot duels between the teams, where the combined score of one pair is compared to that of the other and the higher total awarded two points. The first to 16 points wins and this is the format, which will be used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as well.
After comfortably getting through round one of qualification, the experienced pair topped the board after 20 individual shots in round two, featuring the top eight teams from the previous round. Their total of 419.1 enabled them to get straight into the gold medal match where they found themselves against the Chinese pair who had come in second with 418.7.
Anjum and Divyansh shot 418.0 to place fourth and qualified for the bronze medal match against the Hungarian pair of Eszter Meszaros and Peter Sidi, who shot 418.6 to finish third. The young duo also won their bronze-medal match against the Hungarians with relative ease, chalking out a 16-10 result.
The other gold medals were won by Yashaswini Deswal in the 10m air pistol gold medal to go with Elavenil Valarivan (10m air rifle) and Abhishek Verma’s yellow metal finishes.