Sunday, Sep 24, 2023

Rio Shooting World Cup: India’s Nischal Bags Silver Medal In 50m Rifle 3P

Rio Shooting World Cup: India’s Nischal Bags Silver Medal In 50m Rifle 3P

The 19-year-old gave India its second medal in her first senior World Cup appearance

India's Nischal in action en route her silver medal
India's Nischal in action en route her silver medal X/@Media_SAI

All of 19, Indian rifle shooter Nischal won silver in the Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions at the ISSF World Cup in Rio De Janeiro on Monday. In the process, she gave India its second medal on the concluding day of the tournament. (More Sports News)

Nischal’s achievement becomes even more creditable given that this was her maiden senior World Cup appearance.

She finished behind Norwegian rifle ace Jeanette Hegg Duestad with a score of 458.0 in the final. Duestad is the reigning Air Rifle European Champion and 300m 3P World Champion, and has 12 ISSF World Cup medals to her name, including five gold. 

Nischal was in prime shooting form throughout the day, breaking the qualification national record in Women’s 3P in the process.

"It is my first world cup final and I have a medal, so I am very happy for that,” the teenager said.

It all began with the elimination rounds in the morning where a total of 18 shooters were eliminated over two rounds totalling 73 competitors. 

She shot a solid 587 in relay one to safely make it to qualification. So did her two countrywomen, previous qualification national record holder Anjum Moudgil and Ayushi Podder, both of whom shot in relay two.

Then in qualification, Nischal shot a sublime 592 including a perfect 200 in the prone position, to erase Anjum’s score of 591 shot in the President’s Cup in Cairo last year. 

Anjum herself shot a solid 586, but finished 10th to miss the final by a point. Ayushi was further back in 35th with 580.

The final had a strong field. Besides Duestad, there was qualification topper (594) and world champion Wanru Miao of China, 2018 Youth Olympic champion Stephanie Grundsoee of Denmark, Italian Olympian Sofia Ceccarello and senior Polish shooter Aneta Stankiewicz, among others.

Nischal went head-to-head with the Duestad from the get go of the 45-shot final. She was 0.1 behind the Norwegian after the first 15 kneeling shots and the same after the consequent 15 shots in the prone position. 

By the time Ukranian Viktoriya Sukhorukova and Swiss shooter Chiara Leone became the first ones to be eliminated after the first 10 shots in the standing position, Duestad had opened up a gap of 0.7 over the Indian.

A 9.4 by the Norwegian for her 41st was cancelled out by a 9.0 from Nischal for her 42nd and the gap widened to 1.1. 

An 8.4 for the 43rd almost cost her a medal, but Wanru still fell short of the Indian and bowed out in fourth. Thereafter, Stephanie Grundsoee, who had moved up to second, shot a 7.9 in her 44th shot, assuring Nischal of silver and herself settling for bronze.

Duestad closed out calmly for gold with a 10.2 and a score of 461.5, a clear 3.5 ahead of the Haryana shooter.

Gurpreet Singh was also in action in the other medal event of the concluding day but he could not make much headway, shooting 574 to finish 15th in the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol.

The 16-member Indian contingent thus returned with one gold and one silver from the Rio World Cup and a creditable seventh position in the standings. Elavenil Valarivan had earlier won the Women’s 10m Air Rifle gold on Sunday.

(With PTI inputs)


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