Bhopal, Sunday, March 26, 2023: Sift Kaur Samra won her first individual world cup medal even as the Chinese pulled off a near sweep, winning eight of the 10 gold medals on offer at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol Bhopal, which concluded at the M.P. State Shooting Academy range here in the city. Sift, a medical student and the reigning national champion in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P), won bronze in the event, when she shot 403.9 in the top-eight ranking round. China yet again won both the golds on offer in the day.

In the women’s 3P, the first medal event of the day, China’s Zhang Qiongyue defeated Aneta Brabcova of the Czech Republic 16-8 in the gold medal clash. Earlier in the day, Zhang had topped qualification with a score of 594 as well as the ranking round with a score of 414.7. Aneta came second in the ranking round with 411.3, after qualifying in sixth position with a score of 586. Sift shot a creditable 588 in qualification to finish second behind Zhang.

Sift’s medal was India’s seventh of the competition and they end the first ever ISSF world cup stage held outside New Delhi with a tally of one gold (won by Sarabjot Singh in the men’s 10m air pistol), one silver and five bronze medals.

Manini Kaushik missed out narrowly in qualification, shooting 584 to finish ninth while Anjum Moudgil shot 583 to finish 13th overall. Two other Indians in the field, Shriyanka Sadangi and Ashi Chouksey who were playing for ranking points only, shot scores of 582 and 581 respectively.

The second event, the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol (RFP), had a star-studded field which included the reigning Olympic champion Jean Quiquampoix of France and the Rio Olympic champion Christian Reitz of Germany. Both crossed the qualification hurdle but only Christian medalled, winning bronze. China’s Zhang Jueming shot 35 in the 40-shot eight-series medal-match to claim gold, while Frenchman Clement Bessaguet, a Tokyo Olympic finalist and the Cairo worlds silver medallist, won silver with 34-hits. Christian was third with 21-hits.

India’s Vijayveer Sidhu came closest to qualifying for the ranking round matches among Indians, shooting 581 to finish ninth. Anish Bhanwala shot 581 to finish 10th while Ankur Goel was further back in 14th with 574. Bhavesh Shekhawat shot 578 and Mandeep Singh 575 while playing for ranking points only.

China ended the competition with eight golds, two silver and two bronze medals to top the competition while India were second and Germany third with one gold, one silver and one bronze each.


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