The Indian trio of Rudrankksh Patil, Kiran Jadhav and Arjun Babuta won the country’s fifth gold in the ISSF World Championship in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday, routing China 16-10 in the title round.
It was also Patil’s second gold in his very first outing as a senior, having won the individual 10m Air Rifle title earlier.
India also picked up a silver and two bronze medals on the day to take their tally to five gold, one silver and five bronze, to maintain their second place behind China in the standings.
The Indian team raced ahead 14-2 in the final against a Chinese side which had Yang Haoran (double Olympic gold medallist and two-time World Champion), Lihao Sheng (Tokyo Olympic silver medallist) and Song Buhan (World Championship silver medallist).
China mounted a strong comeback to win the next four series and narrow the gap to 14-10, but the Indians held their own in the final series to clinch the crown.
Both the teams were at each other from Saturday itself when the Chinese prevailed over the Indians, both in round one of qualification of 28 teams and then in the top eight second round as well.
In round one, China edged India by 0.4, while 0.9 was the difference in round two. In the match that mattered the most, however, it was the Indians who finally stamped their supremacy over the Chinese in men’s air rifle in this world championship edition at least, winning both the individual and team titles.
The air rifle women, who had a heartbreak in the individual event, redeemed themselves with a bronze in the team event, prevailing 17-11 in a nail-biter against Germany.
Meghana Sajjanar shot two consecutive 10.9s in the crucial stages to clinch the deal along with partners Elavenil Valarivan and Mehuli Ghosh. They had earlier finished third in qualification stage two to miss out on the gold match by 0.6 points.
In stage one, they had shot 947.0 to finish second, a mere 0.1 behind China, among 30 teams.
Manvi Jain and Sameer won India’s first silver of the championships, going down to China’s Feng Sixuan and Liu Yangpan 17-03 in the gold medal match of the 25m standard pistol mixed team junior competition.
They had come second in stage one of qualification with a score of 564 and then topped stage two with a combined effort of 378 to make it to the title decider.
Payal Khatri and Sahil Dudhane won India’s fourth bronze of the championships in the same event, defeating Ane Torgersen and Hans Noestvold of Norway 16-14 in a close encounter.
The pair had finished third in stage one with 563 and then third again in stage two with 368, to qualify for the bronze match.
In the men’s 10m air pistol team competition, the Indian trio of Shiva Narwal, Naveen and Vijayveer Sidhu shot 580 in qualification stage two to finish fifth eventually.
Also, in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions team Junior event, India’s Nishchal, Nikita Kundu and Nupur Kumrawat ended 10th in qualification with a score of 1278.