Experience was the winner over youth in the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Trial 1 competition, part of the ongoing NRAI trials being held at Delhi.
Veteran Tejaswini Sawant won T1 with a score of 458.7 beating her younger competitor Anjum Moudgil who shot 457.8. The contest between Tejaswini and Anjum, expected to go on for the next 3 trials, will determine who among the two will make it to India’s Olympic squad.
In Round 1, the winner was the 2010 50m Prone World Champion from Maharashtra. Anjum’s Silver-winning feat in the World Championships won the quota for India in 10m AR while Tejaswini claimed it in the 50m 3P event. Anjum was the favourite for both events last year but now with a loss of form and strong performances by Elavenil Valarivan in AR and Tejaswini in 50m 3P, she has her work cut out.
Anjum was in 2nd place after the kneeling series just behind Lajja Gauswami but Tejaswini took the lead after an excellent prone series. Lajja lost momentum in the standing round allowing Nischal from Haryana to pip her to 3rd place. Both Anjum and Tejaswini were close in the standing series before an 8.8 and a number of 9s by Anjum allowed Tejaswini to take the decisive lead.
Tejaswini was strong in qualifications as well. She claimed 1st place after shooting 1171-54x, the only shooter in the field to score above 1170. Anjum was 3rd with 1167-53x. The 8th-placed shooter Nischal scored 1153-46x.
Can Tejaswini maintain her form? Can Anjum make a comeback? These are questions to ponder over as we head into Trial 2 which takes place tomorrow.