The Indian juggernaut remained unstoppable at the ISSF shooting World Cup with the country's women shooters grabbing the spotlight by clinching the 25m pistol team gold medal following a silver in the 50m rifle 3 positions team event in Delhi on Thursday. (More Sports News)
The seventh competition day was also marred by the Hungarian team's pullout from the men's rifle 3 position final -- against India -- after a dispute with its seasoned shooter Peter Sidi over a bipod that was attached to his rifle, leading to a postponement of the event to Friday.
The host nation's team will take on the third-placed USA in the final.
There was positive news for India after that unprecedented act, as the triumvirate of Chinky Yadav, Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat shot a total of 17 to beat Poland's Joanna Iwona Wawrzonowska, Julita Borek and Agnieszka Korejwo, who managed to score 7.
"In individual competitions if we make mistakes, we are losing the points, nobody else. But here, we feel a little more responsible. It is very different from qualification, it is hit or miss here, but, in qualification, every shot counts in a different way," Sarnobat said.
Bhaker added, "I take everything as practice for my main match. It's not like a test event or anything, it's just that we have to perform so we have to be at out best. I consider it the same thing, just the name has been changed."
The team gold came only a day after Yadav, Bhaker and Sarnobat swept the individual final by winning all the medals on offer on Wednesday.
The victory in this event consolidated India's position at the top of the pecking order with 21 medals, including 10 gold, six silver and five bronze.
Senior shooter and Asian Games champion Sarnobat was particularly impressive as she shot a series of five out five hits (seven) out of the 12 five-shot series that were required to win the match.
As a rule, the first team to reach 16 points wins the match.
Two points are awarded to the team winning one five-shot series which each of the three team members have to shoot. Both teams get one point in case of a tied series.
Earlier in the day, India's Anjum Moudgil, Shreya Saksena and Gaayathri Nithyanadam claimed the silver medal in the 50m rifle 3 positions team event.
The Indian rifle team shot 43 in the gold medal showdown to finish behind the Polish team, which scored 47 to grab the top prize.
They had scored 1304 and 864 in the first and second qualifying rounds respectively.
The Polish rifle team comprised Aneta Stankiewicz, Aleksandra Szutko and Natalia Kochanska.
The bronze medal went to the Indonesian team consisting of Vidya Rafika Rahmatan Toyyiba, Monica Daryanti and Audrey Zahra Dhiyaanisa, who beat the Hungarian troika of Lalita Gaspar, Eszter Denes and Lea Horvath 47-43.
In the rifle event, the team had to go through two rounds of qualification before reaching the gold medal match. In the first round where every team member is required to shoot 15 shots in each of the three kneeling, prone and standing positions, India shot a total of 1304 out 1350 to finish fourth out of eight teams.
In the second qualification round, each team member fired 10 shots in each position, as India finished with a combined 864, which was second to Poland who shot 872. Hungary was third with 857, and Indonesia, fourth, with 856.
However, the highlight of the day was the women's pistol team winning the top prize even though the drama surrounding the Hungarian men's rifle team caused some flutter.
India and Hungary, who had finished in first and second place in the qualification round on Wednesday, turned up for their gold medal match, scheduled to begin at 11 am, but the visiting team's world number one shooter Istvan Peni and Zavan Pekler, after a discussion with the technical officials, refused to participate alongside Sidi.
The 42-year-old Sidi is a five-time Olympian and former world champion, having won the gold medal at the 2010 world championships in Munich.
"The Hungarian team has revolted against Sidi," an insider involved with the ongoing tournament told PTI.
"Thy say he is pushing the rules. It is an internal problem within the Hungarian shooting team and has been going on for the last four-five years, more so in the last one year, including last year's national championship," he added.
According to the source, the whole issue was over a bipod that Sidi had attached to the end of his rifle barrel.
Sidi contended that he was using the two-legged stand for weight balancing, which is in sync with the ISSF rule book, and not to stabilise the rifle during competition, which is not technically allowed, but Peni and his other teammate objected to it.
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