ISSF World Cup Croatia: India add another bronze, rifle woes remain

Women's 10m Air Pistol Team

India got a bronze medal on Day 2 of the ISSF World Cup being held at Osijek, Croatia. The Women’s 10m Air Pistol Team of Manu Bhaker, Rahi Sarnobat and Yashaswini Singh Deswal won the medal after beating Hungary 16-12 in the bronze medal match.

India had also won a bronze yesterday courtesy of Saurabh Chaudhary in Men’s 10m Air Pistol. However, the poor spate of air rifle performances by Indians continued today in team events as well.

Women’s 10m Air Pistol Team

Womens 10m AP Podium - FirstSportz
India at Women’s 10m Air Pistol Team Podium/ PC:@OfficialNRAI/Twitter

In stage 1 qualifications, India were the toppers due to both Yashaswini and Manu qualifying for the finals with scores of 578 and 577 respectively and Rahi Sarnobat posting a decent score of 572.

Rahi, who was competing outside her comfort zone of Women’s 25m Pistol was the lowest scoring Indian in qualification stage 2. India nonetheless finished 3rd and qualified for the bronze match with a score of 573, 3 points behind topper Bulgaria’s 576.

India went on to beat Hungary 16-12 in the medal clash, thanks to a late surge of 10s by the Indian shooters. In the gold match, Bulgaria beat Germany 16-10.

Men’s 10m Air Rifle Team

India had qualified for the 2nd stage thanks largely to Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar’s score of 628 yesterday. In the 2nd stage India with 624.4 fell just 0.2 points short of the gold medal match and had to contend for bronze. Divyansh Singh Panwar was the best performing Indian in stage 2.

India again had an agonizing miss in the bronze match, losing to Serbia 14-16. A 9.4 and 8.6 in the final series ended any chances of the medal. Russia, who were head-and-shoulders above the other teams with 631.4 in qualifications, easily beat Hungary 16-8 in the gold match.

Women’s 10m Air Rifle Team

The much-vaunted Indian team of Elavenil Valarivan, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil could not even make it past the 1st qualification stage. Elavenil was yesterday docked points over an unsuccessful protest and her final series figure of 99.2 finished India’s chances of progressing further.

Qualification toppers Iran thrashed Russia 16-2 in the gold match. Bronze was won by Hungary who beat Austria 16-10. The disappointing show by the rifle team so far in Croatia is a cause for concern with just a month to go for the Tokyo Olympics.

Men’s 10m Air Pistol Team

India did not participate in this event as only 2 Indians, Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma were sent. India though would have likely qualified for the next stage had a 3rd shooter competed what with Saurabh and Abhishek scoring 580+.

Gold was won by Italy who beat Serbia 16-6. Bronze was won by Iran who beat Russia 16-12.

10m Air Rifle Mixed Team

If yesterday’s individual and today’s team results have not set alarm bells in the Indian rifle squad, the mixed results certainly will.

The team of Elavenil and Divyansh, gold medalists at Delhi 2021 failed to qualify for the medal rounds at Osijek. Divyansh in particular with scores of 102.2 and 103.3 was a pale shadow of himself. Elavenil’s 210.6 on the other hand was the 2nd highest score among female shooters.

The other Indian team of Anjum Mpudgil and Deepak Kumar fared even worse and failed to qualify for stage 2. India had won a number of medals in this event in 2019 so the Croatia performances require much introspection.

Women’s Skeet

No Indian competed in this event. Gold was won by Russia’s Zilia Batyrshina (56), silver by Chile’s Francisca Chadid (53) and bronze by Sweden’s Victoria Larsson (42). Larsson was 1st in qualifications with 119.

Men’s Skeet

Gold was won by Italian Tammaro Cassandro who beat Argentinian Federico Gil in a shoot-off. Cypriot Nicolas Vasiliou got bronze.

The lengthy qualification was topped by Gil (124 +34). Vasiliou got through in 6th place with 123 +21. India’s Gurjoat Khangura was a poor 56th with 115. The Croatia World Cup continues tomorrow with finals in the Skeet team, 10m AR Mixed and India’s favourite 10m AP Mixed events.