ISSF Championship: Juniors win beaming bronze while seniors miss finals
Divyansh Singh Panwar and Shreya Agarwal netted a bronze in the 10m air-rifle mixed team junior event but India's senior shooters drew a blank on day four of the ISSF World Championships in South Korea. Divyansh and Shreya first took the fifth and final qualification spot among 42 teams scoring 834.4 and then shot a combined 435 in the finals fetching the third place.
The Italian pair of Sofia Benetti and Marco Suppini won gold, while Iran's Sadeghian Armina and Mohammed Amir Nekounam claimed the silver in the event. Another Indian pairing of Elavenil Valarivan and Hriday Hazarika finished 13th with a score of 829.5 in the same event.
India now have three gold, three silver, and three bronze medals after four days of competition at the prestigious International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) tournament. It is already their best ever showing and the country is currently placed joint third in the medal standings behind hosts Korea, Russia, and China. However, the junior medal could not hide the disappointing show of the senior shooters.
The championship is the first qualifying event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and for the second day in a row, India failed to fetch any quota place.
In the men's 50m Rifle Prone competition, 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist Chain Singh finished 14th with a score of 623.9, followed by the Asian Games silver medalist Sanjeev Rajput at a distant 48th position with a 620.0 against his name. The team of Singh, Rajput, and Gagan Narang finished 15th with a combined score of 1856.1.
In the women's 50m Rifle Prone, Tejaswini Sawant was the best-placed Indian at 28th with a score of 617.4. Anjum Moudgil, who fetched a quota place in the women's 10m air rifle event on Monday, finished 33rd with a score of 616.5. Shreya Saksena ended 54th with a score of 609.9, while the Indian team signed off sixth after shooting a score of 1848.1.
Anjum and Apurvi Chandela are so far the only Indian shooters to secure quota places for the Olympics by winning silver and finishing fourth respectively in the women's 10m air rifle event. However, National Rifle Association of India will take the final call on selection, based on the aggregate scores of shooters (in international tournaments and selection trials) leading up to the Olympic Games.