Sports

Junior Shooting World Championships: India on top with 43 medals

India won 43 medals including all 12 available on 9 October in the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Junior World Championship of Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun, which culminated at the Las Palmas Shooting Range. Lima, the capital of Peru.

Vijayveer Sidhu, Rhythm Sangwan, Arjun Singh Cheema, and Shikha Narwal were India’s gold medalists on the final day and took India firmly to the top of the standings with 17 gold medals.

Till the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) sought clarification from the ISSF, the medal tally was updated on Monday. India now has 16 silver and 10 bronze in addition to 17 gold medals.

Vijayveer started the sweep with a gold medal in the junior men’s 25m standard pistol with his third gold medal of the championship. His twin brother Udayveer won silver with 570, the same score as Vijayveer but with three lower internal 10s. Harsh Gupta won the bronze medal in the 17-strong field with 566.

Then Rhythm Sangwan won her fourth gold of the championship with a win in the junior women’s 25m standard pistol with a score of 573, surpassing compatriots Nivedita Velur Nair (565) and Namya Kapoor (563) in the silver and bronze positions.

Then in the 50m pistol for the junior men, India’s Arjun Singh Cheema finished with 549 out of 600 in the 16-strong field as teammates Shaurya Sarin and Ajinkya Chavan also finished on the same score. In inner 10 and count back, Shaurya got second and Ajinkya got third position.

In the final event of the championship, Shikha Narwal of India won the junior women’s 50m pistol with a score of 530. Esha Singh was second with 529 while Navdeep Kaur stood third with 526.

Overall, pistol discipline stole a march over the other two for India, winning 26 of 43 medals. Shotgun had nine medals while rifle won eight. Considering the future of Indian shooting, notable performances, however, came from all three disciplines.

Olympians Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar and Manu Bhaker reaffirmed their world-class credentials with stellar performances. Manu was the most successful Indian athlete with four gold and one bronze medal, while Aishwarya broke the junior world record to win the junior men’s 50m rifle three position gold.

In the shotgun discipline, Gnemat Sekhon in the junior women’s skeet returned with a credible two medals (one gold, one silver) to further enhance her reputation as an outstanding future prospect.

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