Sunday, July 21, 2024

Saurabh Chaudhary claims gold in ISSF World Cup in Cairo

Saurabh Chaudhary

CAIRO, March 1: Indian shooting ace Saurabh Chaudhary won the gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event, opening the country’s account in the year’s first ISSF World Cup on Tuesday.
The Asian Games gold medallist shot 16 in the gold medal contest to finish ahead of Germany’s Michael Schwald (6).
The bronze in the event was bagged by Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Artem Chernousov of Russia, whose country’s flag was removed owing to its involvement in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
The 19-year Chaudhary , an Olympian who also has a Youth Olympic gold medal to his name, was third in the men’s 10m air pistol qualification stage with a total of 584 points, making it through to the elimination as one of the top eight shooters.
This was Chaudhary’s third individual ISSF World Cup gold and first in the new format, dominating Germany’s Schwald in the final.
Chernousov topped the 92-strong qualification field with 591 points.
In the first semi-final where the first of four athletes are eliminated after 10 shots and the second after 15, Chaudhary made it to the medal round along with Chernousov for company as both notched up 38 points to eliminate Robin Walter of Germany first and then Emis Vasermanis of Latvia.
In this round, the shooter with the highest single-shot score is awarded four points, while the others get three, two and one each respectively, as they move down the hierarchy. Points are split in case of a tie. This format continues till the medal round.
Schwald and Azerbaijan’s Ruslan Lunev were the other two shooters to make it to the medal round from the second semi-final.
In the medal round where the bronze winner is determined and the top two make it through to the gold medal match, Chaudhary topped the four-man field after 15 shots with a score of 42.5 points.
Schwald joined the Indian with 41.5 points while Chernousov had to be satisfied with bronze, finishing with 40. Lunev finished fourth, bowing out after 10 shots with a score of 21.
In the final, the winner of a single shot is awarded two points and the first to 16 points wins. In case of a tie, each shooter gets a point. Chaudhary needed just 11 single shots, including shots of 10.5, 10.8 and 10.6 in the last three of his four attempts to seal the deal in his favour.
Over 500 shooters from 60 nations are taking part in the Cairo World Cup which has 20 medal sets on offer.
The day also has the women’s 10m air pistol finals scheduled.
France, Italy and India currently atop the medals tally with one gold each. (PTI)