Shooting: Ankur Mittal brings silver smile on Indian faces – The 25-year-old has been a consistent performer in the junior ranks and has become second Indian to win an individual medal in the ongoing event.
Indian pistol shooters Jitu Rai (L) and Heena Sidhu pose with their medals after winning the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event in New Delhi on Monday (OGQ)
India's Ankur Mittal won the silver medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in the men's double trap event in New Delhi on Monday.
The 25-year-old has been a consistent performer in the junior ranks and has become second Indian to win an individual medal in the ongoing event.
Hailing from a family of shooters — his father Ashok Mittal and elder brother Ajay Mittal are also renowned shotgun shooters — Ankur's tally in the final read 74 points.
Ankur was strong throughout the final starting with a clean score of 30 in the first 30 shots. A double miss in the middle stages forced him to slip lower in the final 20-shot match-up with Australian James Willet to settle for silver.
This is Ankur's best performance in international competitions so far. Till now, the double-trap marksman's achievements included a gold (2014) and bronze (2016) at the Asian Shooting Championships. His teammate Sangram Dahiya also featured in the top six but could manage only 24 points.
Willett with 75 points bagged the gold, while Great Britain's James Dedman stood third with a total of 56 points. The Indian shooter made it to the finals — where only six shooters make the grade — tied fourth with two others on 137.
This was India's second medal at the event after Pooja Ghatkar had claimed a bronze in the 10-metre Air Rifle event on Friday.
Blackout at WC
There was also embarrassment for the organisers here at the Karni Sigh Ranges when lights went off for nearly 90 minutes due to short circuit during the finals of the 10m Air Pistol event on Monday.
Karni Singh Ranges is maintained by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The 10m Air Pistol Finals were to start at 10:30 am, but because of the blackout, the event could only start at 12 noon.
However, the duo of Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu triumphed in the 10m mixed team air pistol event. But as the mixed event is being used on a trial basis in line with IOC's aim to achieve gender equality in its 2020 Tokyo Olympics program, medals are not being awarded even though the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) executive committee has ratified the recommendations.
The recommendation to include 'mixed gender events' was given by the Abhinav Bindra-led ISSF Athletes Committee and the world governing body soon ratified the proposal. "It was good, very interesting, opinions are still divided since it is early days. It will take time to settle down," said Heena.
"I am trying to figure out how it works. We are having a little difficulty right now as far as coordination is concerned but once the rules gets clear it will be better for us," said Jitu, World Championship and Asian Games silver medallist.
Japan's Yukari Konishi and Tomoyuki Matsuda finished second while Slovenia's pair of Naphaswan Yangpaiboon and Kevin Venta got the third place.
In the women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions, China's Yiwen Zhang won the gold making it their sixth gold with a score of 455.7. Singapore's Jasmine Xer won the silver (453.8) while Germany's Eva Roesken won bronze with 443.6 points. India's lone finalist Tejaswini Sawant finished 7th with a finals score of 402.4 amongst the eight qualified for finals.
At the end of Day 4, India is placed fourth in the medal tally with one silver and a bronze. China continue to lead the standings with six gold and four silver medals while Australia are second with two golds and Italy third with one Gold and two silvers.