Shooting WC: Rudrankksh Patil bags second bronze; Ramita fourth
Reigning world champion Rudrankksh Patil won bronze in the men’s 10m air rifle, his second of the tournament, even as China extended their victorious run at the ISSF World Cup by winning both gold medals on offer for the second consecutive day in Bhopal.
Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Sheng Lihao of China won gold in the men’s 10m air rifle while compatriot Huang Yuting, a double gold medallist at the Cairo World Championships last year, won the women’s event.
China maintained their position atop the medals tally at the end of day three of the event with five gold, one silver and two bronze. India remained second with three bronze medals to go with a gold and silver each.
Playing back-to-back matches can never be easy, but Rudrankksh delivered once more, clinching bronze from what at one point seemed a lost cause.
He shot a solid 631.0 in qualification to finish fourth after leading in the initial stages. In the 25-shot top eight ranking round, he was well outside the medal positions till the third five-shot series, before a fantastic fourth series, where he shot the highest score of 53.5, brought him back into contention.
Meanwhile the three Chinese qualifiers — Sheng (who led throughout the ranking round), silver medallist Du Linshu and Yu Haonan — were on course to make it a Chinese 1-2-3 till the 20th shot.
Rudrankksh went into the fifth series 0.8 behind Yu. He then shot a strong 52.6 in the series as Yu faltered, posting 51.5 to finish fourth, as the Indian confirmed his second medal in two days and his fourth ISSF World Cup podium overall.
He finished with a score of 262.3 as Sheng and Du moved into the gold medal match with scores of 264.2 and 263.3 respectively.
The all-China gold medal contest was also a close one with Sheng prevailing 17-13 in the end.
Ramita finishes fourth
India had only one top eight finisher in the women’s 10m air rifle as Ramita shot 632.3 to finish second in the qualifying round. The top eight had two Chinese shooters, two Americans and one shooter each from Romania, Israel and Kazakhstan, besides hosts India.
China’s Huang Yuting was in ominous form, topping the qualifications with a score of 632.8, while Tokyo Olympics silver medallist in the mixed team air rifle, Mary Tucker of the USA, also made it through in seventh place.
In the top eights, Huang was a cut above the rest, finishing on top again with a score of 265.7 as Mary shot 261.2 for a shot at gold.
Kazakhstan’s Alexandra Le pipped India’s Ramita to bronze, shooting 261.2 to the Indian’s 260.5. Huang then maintained her form on the day to defeat Mary 16-4 for China’s fifth gold of the competition.