UP shooter Aayushi upstages Olympian Anjali

Pune: Unheralded Aayushi Gupta fired a world class score of 396 in her qualification round to make it to the women`s 10m air rifle final pushing two-time Olympian Anjali Bhagwat to fourth position in the Gun For Glory Shooting Championship.

Uttar Pradesh markswoman Aayushi, who had got past 392 only once, was a revelation as she opened with a 99 and then fired a perfect 100 before letting out another 99.

She closed out her series with a 98 to sneak ahead of Anjali in third position by virtue of her 30 inner 10s as against 29 by her more fancied rival at the Balewadi ranges.

In the finals on Tuesday, in-form Suma Shirur, who posted 397 on the opening day of the ISSF ranking event, and Priya Agarwal would take on Aayushi and Anjali.

The corresponding men`s event also saw a slight upheaval as Parmendra Kumar of Army leapfrogged to the top after Aribam Dicky Sharma had held the position for two days.

Kumar and Sharma were tied on 593 but the former finished ahead as he had 43 Bulls Eyes as compared to his rival`s 40.

Also, Kumar shot two perfect rounds of 100s, and a 99 and three 98s.

Maharashtra shooters Ramesh Mali and Fulchand Bangar were the only civilians in the final of men`s air rifle that otherwise should see a battle between Army and Navy shooters.

In the pistol events, there were no surprises as those who had their qualification rounds on Sunday failed to get into the top eight for the final.

Samaresh Jung, "Gold Finger" of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, was off the mark as he managed a poor 369 - four shots behind Vijay Kumar of Army, the last shooter to make it to the 8-man final - and was eliminated.

UP shooters topped the medals tally with five gold, three silver and one bronze medal, one gold ahead of Maharashtra shooters.

By numbers, though, the home state had nosed ahead after collecting 10 medals as against nine by UP. Delhi were lying third.


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