The Paris Olympic Games just a year away, this is the season of securing Olympic quotas. In this light, Amanpreet Singh did not win India a quota place despite his gold in men’s 25m standard pistol, since it is a non-Olympic event, but he did etch his name in the annals of the World Championship and Indian shooting history.
The 20-year-old Amanpreet became the seventh Indian shooter to become a world champion after Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Tejaswini Sawant, Om Prakash Mitherval, Ankur Mittal and Rudrankksh Patil.
The country’s other medal in Baku on Wednesday came in women’s 25m standard pistol team, a bronze, the trio of Tiyana (538), Yashita Shokeen (536) and Kritika Sharma (527) combining for a total score of 1601 to settle at the bottom of the three-team affair.
Amanpreet’s feat is all the more commendable as he is still finding his feet in the international arena. But he is proving to be a quick learner. At the Junior World Cup in Suhl earlier this year, Amanpreet finished top in 25m standard pistol, and showed again on Wednesday that he is a name to watch out for.
Since 25m standard pistol is a non-Olympic sport, there is no final, and Amanpreet was a comfortable winner with a total of 577 ahead of Korea’s Gunhyeok Lee (574) and Kevin Chapon (574) of France.
It was Amanpreet’s youthful exuberance against the experience of Lee, who had bagged gold at the 2022 World Championship in Cairo.
The day could well have thrown up another medal for India but Chapon pipped Harsh Gupta (573) by a point to take bronze, his maiden international medal.
Despite the team bronze in women’s 25m standard pistol, Tiyana (538) 11th, Yashita (536) 12th and Kritika (527) 14th were unable to make a mark individually.
China won the team gold with a total of 1690, followed by Azerbaijan at 1629.
The individual gold in the event went to China’s Feng Sixuan (572), silver to Anna Korakaki (565) of Greece who also won silver in 10m air pistol and bronze to Tokyo Olympian Sylvia Steiner (561) of Austria.
China still rule the medals tally with 13 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze; India moved to second with 5 gold and 4 bronze, USA slipped to third with 4 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.