India jumped to the top of the pecking order as young Manu Bhaker clinched a gold medal in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event while Ravi Kumar bagged a bronze at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. Bhaker beat the host country’s Alejandra Zavala, a two-time World Cup Finals winner, with a 10.8 in the last shot of the 24 shot final, to come out on top with a score of 237.5.
He shot 226.4 and had to beat compatriot Deepak Kumar in a shoot-off for third and fourth spots in the final. Talented young Hungarian Istvan Peni, the World No 1, won gold, shooting 249.5 while Austria’s Alexander Schmirl won silver with 248.7. This was India’s fourth medal of the competition with Shahzar Rizvi and Jitu Rai winning gold and bronze in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol and Mehuli Ghosh winning bronze in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle respectively, on day one of the competition.
Zavala ended at 237.1 while Celine Goberville of France won the bronze with a score of 217.0. India’s Yashaswini Singh Deswal missed out on a medal, finishing fourth with 196.1. An 11th standard student, Bhaker, who recently secured a quota place for the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, won a sensational gold to continue India’s surge in the season’s first World Cup. Manu showed excellent composure for one so young and Ravi’s consistency over the past year or so has also been heartening to watch. We are now hungry for more.