Guadalajara (Mexico): Indian teenager Anish Bhanwala stood third after the first qualifying round of the Men`s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event at the ISSF Shooting World Cup. The 15-year old, who has a bright chance of making it to the final in his senior World Cup debut, was sandwiched by three 2016 Rio Olympics medallists after the first round here on Wednesday evening.
Anish, who recently equalled the world record in the event at the national trials, shot 294 out of 300 in the precision stage, to lie behind China`s Rio Olympics bronze medallist Yuehong Li, who shot the same score to be in second place and France`s Clement Bessaguet, who shot 295 to be at the top of the qualifying ladder.
Also in line for a finals berth was Anish`s senior teammate Neeraj Kumar, who shot 291 to lie in sixth place. The top six in the event at the end of the two qualifying stages -- the precision stage and the rapid-fire stage -- will make it to the medal round.
Lying fourth and fifth at this stage were Rio Olympics gold and silver medallists Christian Reitz of Germany (292) and Jean Quiquampoix of France (292). Anish`s performance comes in the wake of impressive performances earlier in the competition by Indian teenagers Manu Bhaker and Mehuli Ghosh in the Women`s Pistol and Rifle events, where they won two gold and two bronze medals between themselves.
In the only final scheduled on Wednesday, the Finnish pair of Satu Makela-Nummela and Vesa Tornroos won the Trap Mixed Team gold medal. The only Indian pair competing in that event, that of Kynan Chenai and Seema Tomar, shot a combined 132 to finish 14th.
India are in the midst of their best ever International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup campaign, sitting at the top of the medals tally with three gold and four bronze.