New Delhi, March 24: Young Indian shooter Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar claimed the gold medal in the men's 50m rifle 3 positions event, consolidating the host nation's top standing in the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi on Wednesday (March 24).
The 20-year-old from Bhopal shot 462.5 to win the top prize ahead of Hungary's star rifleman Istvan Peni (461.6) and Denmark's Steffen Olsen (450.9) at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. This was India's eighth gold medal at the ongoing marquee event.
The other Indians in the final, veteran Sanjeev Rajput and Niraj Kumar, finished sixth and eighth respectively.
After an impressive start following which he led for a while, Tomar slipped in the standings but fought back strongly with a 10.4, 10.5 and 10.3 in the standing elimination stage.
Tomar wins gold!— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) March 24, 2021
A brilliant gold medal by 20 year-old #TOPSAthlete Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar in men’s 50m Rifle 3 Position at the @ISSF_Shooting World Cup. This is Tomar’s first senior WC individual medal. Many congratulations! #Shooting #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/7HYJrvjnja
Tomar is a Tokyo Olympics quota-holder.
He won the bronze medal in the 50 metre rifle 3 positions event at the 2019 Asian Shooting Championships to secure a quota place for India at the Olympics.
This comes three days after Tomar combined with Deepak Kumar and Pankaj Kumar to win the silver medal in the men's team air rifle event.
In the event, Rajput led the qualification with 1172, while Tomar and Kumar shot identical score of 1165.
Istvan Peni, Aleksi Leppa (Finland), Jan Lochbihler (Switzerland), Juho Kurki (Finland) and Olsen were the others to make the final, which was a 45-shot contest comprising the three series of kneeling, prone and standing.
Tomar, who failed to clear selection trials at the Madhya Pradesh Shooting Academy seven years ago, led the eight-man final at the end of the kneeling position with 155.0 and was in second place after prone with 310.5, behind Olsen (311.4) and ahead of Peni (309.9).
The gold medal is a far cry from the time when he was disqualified from his first Nationals in 2015, and then suspended for an entire year due to a technical reason.
Training rigorously for a year, he returned in 2016 and in 2018, Tomar won three gold medals in the junior nationals in all three rifle disciplines.
Having made his way into the Indian junior team, Tomar shone in the events he participated in before securing the Olympic quota.
Chinky Yadav wins gold as India claim all three medals in women's 25m pistol
Chinky Yadav upstaged the experienced Rahi Sarnobat and the fancied Manu Bhaker to win gold as India swept the women's 25m pistol event, highlighting the country's depth of talent in the sport.
The 23-year-old Yadav prevailed over Sarnobat, 30, in a shoot-off after their scores were tied at 32, taking Indnia's gold tally to nine.
Bhaker, aged only 19, shot 28 to settle for the bronze medal before being eliminated, leaving her two other compatriots to fight for the top prize at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.
India clinches Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals at IISF:— DD India (@DDIndialive) March 24, 2021
Chinky Yadav wins the Gold medal, Rahi Sarnobat won the Silver medal & Manu Bhaker won the Bronze medal in the FINAL of 25m Pistol Women at the @ISSF_Shooting World Cup 2021 New Delhi. pic.twitter.com/CF0042KpL5
All three shooters have already bagged their quotas for the Tokyo Olympics.
Yadav, who bagged the Olympic quota with a second-place finish at the 14th Asian Championships in Doha in 2019, led the pack after first 20 targets with a score of 14.
She was followed by Bhaker at second with 13.
Then, the shooter from Bhopal led with a score of 21 and pulled away from the rest, even as the seasoned Sarnobat clawed her way back into the finals after struggling in bottom half.