Home Divyansh Panwar silences critics with record-breaking gold in Cairo

    Divyansh Panwar silences critics with record-breaking gold in Cairo


    There can’t be a better way to silence critics than a resounding show on a big stage. Divyansh Singh Panwar did just that by notching his career’s second world record en-route gold at the ISSF World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.

    Later on Sunday, Sonam Uttam Maskar, who made her international debut last year, landed her second medal in the space of two days with silver in 10m air rifle women. On Saturday, the 21-year-old had teamed up with Olympic quota winner Arjun Babuta for silver in 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team.

    Once ranked World No 1 in men’s 10m air rifle, 21-year-old Divyansh has been deflecting questions on his ability to perform under tournament pressure for some time.

    Despite the team gold with a world record at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Divyansh’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics and World Championship have raised question marks.

    All doubts on pedigree were wiped off in the span of a few hours as Divyansh first topped the qualification with a score of 632.4, and followed it with one more top-notch performance in the final, when it mattered the most.

    India had a fair representation in the event with Arjun Babuta shooting 630.7 to finish fourth in qualification behind Germany’s Maximilian Ulbrich (631.4) and Italy’s Cairo World Championship silver medallist Dennis Danilo Sollazzo (631.3).

    Sandeep Singh shot 630.4 but did not qualify because of RPO. Olympic quota winner Rudrankksh Patil was expected to do well but disappointed by finishing 11th with a score of 629.3. Ankush Jadhav ended 16th with a score of 628.8 (RPO).

    After leading the pack in qualification, Divyansh needed to call upon his experience and class once more, and he was equal to the task.

    Dotted with several high 10s, Divyansh shot 253.7 to eclipse the world record of 253.3 by China’s Sheng Lihao at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year. It was a domineering show from the Indian as silver medallist Sollazzo trailed at 251.8, and Serbia’s Lazar Kovacevic at 230.6. Arjun shot 166.1 to finish sixth in the eight-man final.

    Reflecting on how the day panned out in a way that he felt comfortable in ISSF’s World Cup season opener, Divyansh said he was “proud to make the country proud”. In a space where he felt “established and good”, it was Divyansh’s confidence about his “process and technique” that led to the jaw-dropping performance.

    “I was focused only on my process and not the announcer, comments or camera,” he said. It all started early in the morning with lots of water and Hindi devotional music.

    The Paris Olympics just a couple of months away, Divyansh is training hard to make a mark for the country at the world’s biggest sporting extravaganza.

    In women’s qualification, Nancy (633.1) and Sonam (632.7) were the two Indians to make the final at fourth and fifth, finishing ahead of fancied names like Baku World Championship silver medallist Ramita (632, RPO), Tilottama Sen (627.6) and Shriyanka Sadangi (627.3, RPO).

    Tokyo Olympian Jeanette Hegg Duestad of Norway topped qualification with 633.9, and was followed by Korea’s Eunji Kwon (633.5) and Poland’s Tokyo Olympian Aneta Stankiewicz at 633.2.

    In the final, Sonam raised her performances several notches to claim silver with a score of 252.1. Cairo World Championship gold medallist Anna Janssen was the top name with 253. The bronze went to Aneta for a score of 230.4, and was followed by Nancy at 209.5.