India’s Meghana Sajjanar narrowly missed out on a medal in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle at the ISSF World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Meghana who was competing in her first-ever World Cup final lost a medal in the shoot-off and settled for the fourth place while compatriot Pooja finished fifth in field of 69 shooters.
The Bengaluru girl, competing in only her third World Cup after making her debut in the World Cup at New Delhi earlier in the year, shot an excellent 419.6 (105.7, 105.1, 103.0, 105.8) to qualify for the finals in top spot.
It was an improvement for Meghana after her scores of 413.3 and 417.4 that had seen her placed 16th and 15th in the first two World Cups of the season in Delhi and Munich.
Meghana started the finals with a 10.8 and was placed second after the second competition stage but slipped to the third place following a shot of 9.8, to be tied on 205.7 with Jasmine Ser Xiang Wei of Singapore.
The seasoned Jasmine Ser won the shoot-off to march ahead but settled for the bronze behind the Chinese teenagers Peng Xinyi and Shi Mengyao, who needed a shoot off to decide the gold medallist. Peng Xinyi won the gold.
Olympian Apurvi Chandela, who was the third Indian participant, missed out on a spot in the finals by 0.2 points after finishing 10th with a score of 416.6 (103.7, 103.8, 104.6, 104.5).
Pooja, now a seasoned shooter, made it to her second World Cup final of the year after shooting a qualification score of 416.8 (104.8, 105.2, 103.8, 103.0). She had won a bronze medal at the Delhi World Cup, which was also her first-ever World Cup medal.
Earlier, India challenge in the Men 10m Air Rifle was restricted to the qualifying stages when the trio of Deepak Kumar, Satyendra Singh and Ravi Kumar were below their best and placed 25th, 36th and 41st respectively in a field of 72 shooters.
Deepak shot a score of 623.3 (103.1, 104.5, 104.1, 103.9, 104.3, 103.4), Satyendra 620.4 (103.2, 103.7, 104.4, 103.5, 102.5. 103.1) and Ravi 620.0 (102.7, 103.6, 102.1, 105.0, 104.0, 102.6). Ravi had earlier made it to two World Cup finals in New Delhi and Munich.
Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang shot an impressive score of 628.8 (105.0, 104.6, 104.5, 104.2, 105.9, 104.6) in the MQS section which was the second best qualification score of the day.
Interestingly, Milutin Stefanovic of Serbia and Yao Yuncong of China had tied at 250.9, a world record equalling score in the final, and went through a shoot-off to decide the champion.
Men’s 10m Air Rifle: 1. Milutin Stefanovic (Srb) 250.9 (EWR) 10.0 (628.1); 2. Yao Yuncong (Chn) 250.9 (EWR) 9.6 (627.2); 3. Peni Istvan (Hun) 229.4 (629.0); 25. Deepak Kumar 623.3; 36. Satyendra Singh 620.4; 41.Ravi Kumar 620.0. MQS: Gagan Narang 628.8.
Women’s 10m Air Rifle: 1. Peng Xinyi (Chn) 248.1(9.9) 418.9; 2. Shi Mengyao (Chn) 248.1(9.5) 419.6; 3. Jasmine Ser Xiang Wei (Sgp) 225.7 (419.2); 4. Meghana Sajjanar 205.7 (419.6); 5. Pooja Ghatkar 183.8 (416.8); 10. Apurvi Chandela 416.6.