In historic first, India top ISSF World Cup medals tally
A podium eluded them on the final day but Indian shooters had done enough to finish at the top of the medals tally at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, their best-ever showing at the event.
India finished with four gold, one silver and four bronze to top the medals tally for the first time in an ISSF competition.
Two-time Olympic champion Vincent Hancock of the USA won the men’s skeet competition, the concluding event of the year’s first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup.
Among the three Indian shooters in fray, Smit Singh shot 116 in the qualifying to be placed 15th, Angad Bajwa shot 115 to end in 18th spot while Sheeraz Sheikh secured the 30th spot with a score of 112.
Hancock, who had won gold at the Beijing and London Olympics, had gone into a bit of a slump after winning the 2015 World Championships and made a comeback of sorts with this win.
He did it in style by first topping qualification with a sublime 123 out of 125 and then followed it up in the final, with a world record equalling 59 out of 60. He was matched by Paul Adams of Australia and finally got the better of him 6-5 in a shootoff for gold.
Italy’s Tammaro Cassandro won bronze with 49 hits in the final.
India’s Smit was placed seventh in the beginning of the day and stood a chance of qualifying but rounds of 22, 23 and 23 put cold water on all such hopes.
Angad Bajwa returned rounds of 24, 25 and 24 but had dropped too far behind on the first day of qualifying and Sheeraz Sheikh did not look in his element in this event.
The failure on the last day notwithstanding, India will return home with happy memories.
Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Akhil Sheoran and Om Prakash Mitharval won the gold medals in the competition. Anjum Moudgil bagged a silver, while established names such as Jitu Rai and Ravi Kumar finished with bronze. Shahzar Rizvi (10m Air Pistol Men, individual), Manu Bhaker (10m Air Pistol Women, individual and 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team), Om Prakash Mitharval (10m Air Pistol Mixed Team) and Akhil Sheoran (50m Rifle 3 Positions Men, individual)