Baku (Azerbaijan): Veteran rifle shooter Sanjeev Rajput shrugged off the disappointment of missing out of Rio Olympics by bagging the men's 50m rifle 3 positions silver medal on the seventh and concluding day of competitions at the ISSF World Cup here today.
This is the 35-year old shooter's third World Cup medal and his first in five years. This was also India's second medal of the competition and of the same colour as well, after pistol ace Jitu Rai's silver winning effort in the men's 10m air pistol earlier in the competition.
Rajput finished the 120 shot (40 shots each in Kneeling, Prone and Standing positions respectively) qualifying round at seventh with a combined score of 1167 to enter the eight-man final. He shot 456.9 in the finals to win the silver.
Rajput started the 45 shot (15 shots each in the three positions with elimination beginning from the 10th shot in standing position and 40th shot overall) final round confidently, shooting 153.5 after the first 15 shots in Kneeling position to lie second.
By the end of the 15 Prone series shots, Rajput slipped to third place and was even briefly lying fourth after a relatively poor 8.3 and 9.9 in his 41st and 42nd shots. He recovered brilliantly with consecutive scores of 10.8 in his next two shots, pulling away decisively from his nearest rival Hyeonjun Kim of Korea, who had to settle with the bronze.
The gold medal went to Petar Gorsa of Croatia who led from pillar to post in the finals, shooting a total of 457.5 to Rajput's 456.9.
In the men's Skeet, Man Singh overcame one shoot-off to qualify for the six-man final, but could not make it to the bronze medal match up. He eventually finished sixth.
Earlier in the day, Man Singh had shot a score of 122 out of 125 in qualifying to be tied at joint fifth place with five other shooters. In the shoot-off that followed, he shot a score of 10 to qualify in sixth place.
Nine Indians had qualified for the final rounds, a record in a Shooting World Cup.
In the day's other Indian performances, Gagan Narang ended 23rd in men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions with a score of 1161 while Chain Singh shot 1159 to finish 32nd in the same event.
In the men's Skeet, Mairaj Ahmad Khan shot 121 to finish 16th while Sheeraz Shaikh shot 117 to be placed 40th.
India finished the Baku World Cup with two silver medals and nine finalists. Among the 10 out of 12 Rio bound shooters who participated in the World Cup, five including Abhinav Bindra, Narang, Jitu, Heena Sidhu and Kynan Chenai, reached the finals of their respective events. Gagan reached two finals. Only Jitu among them won a medal.
In all the World Cups this year, Indians have picked up four medals, including one gold and three silver.