Priya shocks Suma, Anjali to win gold

Pune: Local competitor Priya Agarwal upstaged seasoned campaigners Suma Shirur and Anjali Bhagwat to clinch the women`s 10m air rifle title at the Gun For Glory Shooting championship at the Balewadi ranges.

Asian air gun team gold medallist Priya gave the host city its first gold medal in the ISSF ranking event with a combined score of 500.4 (397 in the qualifying and 103.4 in the final). She had eight perfect 10s in Tuesday`s finals.

Another lesser fancied youngster Aayushi Gupta of UP sneaked home with the silver medal with a combined effort of 497.7, pushing world record holder Suma to the third place with 497.6.

Anjali finished out of the medal bracket though she performed brilliantly in the final with an all perfect 10s.

"It has been a dream to win it front of home crowd," said Railways markswoman Priya who will now fancy her chances of booking a berth at the London Olympics through next year`s Asian Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Pistol shooter Heena Sidhu, who is in her final year to become a dentist, won the women`s 10m air pistol event with an impressive score of 489.1 after firing 102.1 in the final.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist from Punjab was the most consistent performer in the final after having started at 387, five points ahead of Olympic berth holder Annu Raj Singh of Air India, and Shweta Chaudhary of ONGC.

Shweta began sedately before firing good scores towards the end of the final series to push Annu Raj down to the third position.

In the men`s section, Om Prakash of Army edged past Navy`s Omkar Singh, who had a two-point lead going into the final, to the 10m air piston gold.

Prakash posted 100.3 for an aggregate of 676.3. Omkar maintained a nice cushion till the seventh shot before two back-to-back 8s pegged him down.

London Games berth holder S M Vijay Kumar had qualified in the eighth and last position and struggled throughout after a fine opening shot. He misfired the 10th to end his campaign on a poor note.

The men`s air rifle event was a battle between armymen Aribam Dicky Sharma and Parmendra Kumar with the former prevailing for the title.

19-year-old Aribam shot 101.5 in the final to add to his qualification round of 593 to tally a total of 694.5.

Kumar, who too went into the finals with 593 under his belt, was slightly off target to tally 100.4. Navy`s PT Raghunath settled for the bronze medal with a total of 692.5.


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