History was made last week as Indian shooters dominated the third day of the ISSF World Cup Finals in Putian, China. They have won three gold medals in four events. Manu Bhaker won the gold in 10m air pistol event, while Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar won gold in women’s and men’s 10m air rifle events respectively. A gold medal at the World Cup Finals is significant as toppers of the four World Cups and having high world rankings get invites to participate in the Finals. This year, the event is more prestigious as most of the participants have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The only jarring note for India came when Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary finished 5th and 6th respectively in men’s 10m air pistol event. Both the shooters have qualified for Tokyo and had won two gold each in the four World Cups this year. Manu became only second Indian pistol shooter to win gold in 10m air pistol after Heena Sidhu’s gold in 2013.
Manu, who missed the 25m pistol final earlier by finishing 10th, admitted she was nervous throughout the 10m final. But the Haryana shooter focused on one shot at a time to win her maiden year-ender medal. Manu, 17, had shot 583 in the qualification round, same as Germany’s Doreen Vennekamp and Australian Elena Galiabovitch. However, Doreen qualified for the final as eighth shooter as she had more number of inner 10s (23) compared to Elena (17) and Manu (17).