Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Indian pairs on podium but China reigns supreme

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Indian mixed team pairs Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil-R Narmada Nithin and Rhythm Sangwan-Varun Tomar finished on the podium in 10m air rifle and pistol events respectively while China swept both gold medals on offer on competition Day 2 of the ongoing shooting World Cup in Bhopal on Thursday.

R Narmada Nithin and Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil(Twitter/@India_AllSports)

China’s twin gold put them on top of the table with five medals (3 gold, 2 bronze) followed by hosts India (4 medals – 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze). Azerbaijan, Germany, and Hungary are tied for the third spot with a bronze each.

Rudrankksh and Narmada finished the qualification stage with a score of 632. Hungarian pair of Eszter Denes and Istvan Peni topped the round with 632.6 followed by China’s Yuting Huang and Lihao Sheng (632.2).

The Chinese turned the tables on Hungary in the final, beating them 16-2 in the one-sided duel.

Meanwhile, their third-place finish meant the Indians qualified for the bronze medal match against the second Chinese pair of Qiongyue Zhang and Hainan Yu who also shot 632.

Rudrankksh, the reigning world champion, and Narmada found their groove in the medal match, beating the Chinese 16-8. It was a much closer contest than what the scoreline suggests with no pair shooting less than 10 in any attempt. The highlight was the sixth series when both Rudrankksh and Narmada shot perfect 10.9s.

The other Indian pair in the fray — Tilottama Sen and Hriday Hazarika — finished ninth with a score of 628.1.

In the 10m mixed team pistol event, India’s Varun Tomar and Rhythm Sangwan went down 11-17 to China’s Qian Wei and Liu Jinyao to bag silver. It was Tomar’s second medal of the tournament after his individual bronze on the opening day.

The Chinese pair was off the blocks early, topping the qualification with 586 points. Tomar and Sangwan were next with 581. Divya TS and Sarabjot Singh, the other Indian team in the fray, missed the bronze medal match by a point, finishing fifth with a score of 574.

Qian-Liu carried their form in the gold medal playoff, jumping to a 15-7 lead before Tomar and Sangwan pulled it down to 15-11. China, however, won the 15th series and took the gold with a 17-11 margin.

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